Waste News, Dec. 21 -- Baby boomers and older citizens are increasingly "socially conscious" consumers who consider the environmental impact of products they purchase, according to a recent study conducted by AARP and research firm Focalyst.
Seventy percent of the baby boomers and "mature consumers" surveyed said they felt a responsibility to make the world a better place. The study surveyed 30,000 people born in 1964 or earlier. The study´s authors concluded that more than 40 million boomers use their purchasing power to buy environmentally safe brands.
"The study confirms that boomers are taking a critical look at products to find brands that resonate with their growing commitment to an eco-friendly lifestyle," said Larry Renfro, president and CEO of AARP Services Inc., a subsidiary of AARP, the lobbying and advocacy group for Americans 50 and older. "Companies across industries have recognized this trend and are driving home messages of concern and conservation."
The tendency to buy environmentally safe brands correlates directly with age, with mature consumers more likely to be "green," said Heather Stern, of Focalyst.
"As consumers get older, they become more aware of their legacy and leaving a positive mark on the world, and this is particularly true of boomers," she said.
However, while "environmentally safe" and "organic" often are thought of as being closely related, many boomers don´t draw the same connection, according to the study´s findings. Less than a third of the boomer population is willing to pay more for organic foods, according to the study.
In addition, boomers with lower incomes are "greener" than their more affluent counterparts, according to the study. It found that 57 percent of those with incomes of less than $50,000 considered themselves green, while only 50 percent of those with income greater than $150,000 identified themselves that way.