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April 12, 2009


Katie Kurtz

Curious as to who was polled and whether there is a balanced geographic representation and across socioeconomic statuses. Also, how many people were polled - 1,000 versus 5,000 would most likely give very different results. And of course the method - by phone, online survey? All of these factors would make for very different outcomes.

Jim Cassio

Joel - re your cynicism about parents teaching kids to protect the environment... I think perhaps you're not aware of this new trend that reflects the new American expertise on all things green, and the need to teach those family values to our children. Probably the reason you're not noticing it is because the lessons are coming in shorter bursts than you're expecting. Where parents used to shout "Shut that damned faucet off!" and "Get out of that damned refrigerator!" are now replaced by "Shut that damned faucet off! Do you realize how much we have to pay for that water?" and "Get out of that damned refrigerator unless you can afford to pay the electric bill!"
-Jim Cassio

cody james

Wow.... very interesting read. America has some uneducated people. Wal-Mart is a horrible company. People need to watch more documentaries. Ugh.

Bruce K

I am not so skeptical about some of the data since I think it corresponds to the vast increase in green marketing, i.e. people are seeing and buying more products labeled "green". To my mind the most interesting question at the moment is whether the new thrifty attitudes about consumption displayed by many people will outlast this current recession. I believe it may have some long-lasting impact with a certain segment of the population. On the other hand, some "structural" elements of our society make it unlikely that "business as usual" will be radically altered. I just returned from a car trip in Southern California and the steady procession of strip malls, monotonous subdivisions and traffic jams didn't give me a lot of hope. It's the climate change activist's modern day vision of Sodom and Gomorrah!

Nicola Thomas

Great post. I think the key issue is that the wrong questions are being asked, or are probed in the wrong way, and hence give suspect answers.

Jennifer Rice

Some of the eyebrow-raising stats are generated by asking people what they think, rather than identifying the correlation between sustainable product attributes and actual behavior (purchase and loyalty). I have yet to see a purchase driver analysis in the sustainability space, which I think is the only way to get a true read on how well sustainability drives business objectives. Perhaps few are willing to sponsor such a study because the numbers will not be as eye-popping and "convincing" as some of the stats you quoted above. (BTW, if there is such a study as I've referenced, I'd love to know about it!)

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