According to a recently released survey, 71 percent of Americans now consider the environment when making purchasing decisions. This is up from 66 percent in 2008. The study, which was conducted by Cone Communications, also found that Americans regularly read and follow instructions on how to use the green products they select (71 percent); 66 percent also indicated that 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," says Jennifer Meek, director of marketing and customer relations for Enviro-Solutions. "A green product may have less impact on the environment, but if not disposed of properly, it can just add to a landfill. This is something we are trying to avoid."
The survey also found that 85 percent of respondents would like manufacturers and other companies to offer better information regarding not only how to use products but how to dispose of them properly.
In addition, the survey noted that 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 Guides will help address this issue," says Meek. "This confirms what the FTC believes, that there is a lot of misunderstanding about green terminology in the market place."

A final point revealed by the study is 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 to not 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.