GREEN BUSINESS

Report: Consumers Still Shopping Green

Despite the recession, buyers are spending more for eco-friendly products.
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Despite the recession and their occasionally higher cost, most consumers are still buying green products, according to a report.

A survey by Portland, Oregon-based non-profit product certifiers Green Seal and advertising firm EnviroMedia found that of 1,000 people surveyed, half are buying as many green products as before the downturn, while 19 percent are buying more. Only 14 percent are buying fewer.

"This increased consumer demand sends a signal to manufacturers to produce products that are truly green," Arthur Weissman, CEO of Green Seal, said in a statement.

Lars Hundley, CEO of Clean Air Gardening, which sells eco-friendly gardening products, reports despite a shaky few months before Christmas, they're still growing and sales are up from last January.

"We're still planning for growth, and I'm just going to keep moving forward until it looks like there's been a change and we've stopped," he said.

Because his is a seasonal business, his biggest worry is they'll ramp up for spring, and then the economy will drop again.

"I'm frankly a little worried, because I'm hearing so much bad news," he said.

Clean Air Gardening has responded to the downturn by shifting their marketing. Before the downturn, they promoted their offerings' eco-friendliness. Now, Hundley reports, they are looking to position their products as solutions. Anticipating a boom in home-gardening as a means to save money, they are developing a kit for first-time gardeners.

"A lot of time, eco-friendly stuff saves money, for example on energy bills," he said. "They're not just feel-good—they serve a purpose."

Last updated: Feb 20, 2009




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