People are becoming more socially conscious in their purchasing decisions, or so they say. Many consumers claim they want to choose more ethical products and minimize their impact on the environment. But what’s the reality? Which counts more, ethics or money?
Today consumer, expect social consciousness from the companies and companies are aware of it. Companies need to act ethically to build trust in their products. Some consumers choose the product or service because it is eco-friendly and might even boycott the products or services and their providers if the company does not operate ethically. In addition, there are laws and regulations that control how businesses’ operate. Thus, companies are forced to become more environmentally and socially conscious, which is good. They get good publicity for doing so and we get healthier environment.
However, consumers aren’t forced to make ethical decisions. Studies have proven that even though a lot of people are talking about ethics in buying they don’t want to make the effort or use the money for this purpose. Especially in economic downturn people will buy the cheapest possible products and it is logical. If you have a tight budget it might be difficult to buy more eco-friendly products as they are often more expensive than “regular” products.
What is then ethically “correct”? Is it when we buy products that are produced close to us? Or is it when we buy fair trade products? Or whether it is organic food? Information flow on what is “right” and where to find the eco-friendly products has always been confusing and overwhelming. Would people actually buy more eco-friendly products if it were easier to understand the benefits of doing so and where to find the products?
In the end I think that consumers and companies often care more about the money than the environment. Each party wants to see that others are doing the “right thing” but don’t want to put the effort or money for it. It is a good thing that the laws and regulations tighten all the time. Perhaps the following generations of consumers can appreciate nature more than we do. Perhaps the ethical and environmental friendly choices are self-evident to them.
Consumers want to do the “right” choices but sadly it is often money that counts. Companies do the “right thing” if they have to. Most of us do nothing! Make your money count and do the right thing – go green!