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Seventy-one percent of Americans now consider the environment when making purchase decisions, up from 66 percent in 2008, according to a new survey conducted by Boston-based Cone Communications.
Americans regularly read and follow instructions on how to use the Green products they select (71 percent), and 66 percent indicate they follow instructions on how to dispose of products properly.
"This is important because we have to view every product [we purchase] with a cradle-to-grave mentality," said Jennifer Meek, director of marketing and customer relations for Enviro-Solutions, a Green chemical manufacturer. “A Green product may have less impact on the environment, but if not disposed of properly, it can just add to a landfill."
The survey found that 85 percent of respondents would like manufacturers and other companies to offer better information regarding both proper use and disposal of the products they buy. And about three-quarters of those surveyed would like companies to do a more effective job of educating consumers regarding environmental terms.
"We can hope that the new Federal Trade Commission [FTC] Green Guidelines will help address this issue," Meek added. "This confirms what the FTC believes, that there is a lot of misunderstanding about Green terminology in the market place."
Additionally, the study confirmed that consumers want companies to be honest about their Green initiatives -- even when those initiatives are limited. Nearly 70 percent said they think it's “OK” for a company not to be "environmentally perfect" as long as it is honest about it. Conversely, 78 percent indicated they would boycott a product if they discovered the company had made a false environmental claim.