FEEDBACK

Buying Green

February 29, 2008 • Volume 18, Issue 9
Does it really help the environment?
By Jennifer Weeks

Introduction

The Chevrolet Volt concept car, a plug-in hybrid not yet on the market, will get 150 miles per gallon, according to General Motors.  (CQ Press/Joe King-Shaw)
The Chevrolet Volt concept car, a plug-in hybrid not yet on the market, will get 150 miles per gallon, according to General Motors. (CQ Press/Joe King-Shaw)

Americans will spend an estimated $500 billion this year on products and services that claim to be good for the environment because they contain non-toxic ingredients or produce little pollution and waste. While some shoppers buy green to help save the planet, others are concerned about personal health and safety. Whatever their motives, eco-consumers are reshaping U.S. markets. To attract socially conscious buyers, manufacturers are designing new, green products and packaging, altering production processes and using sustainable materials. But some of these products may be wastes of money. Federal regulators are reviewing green labeling claims to see whether they mislead consumers, while some critics say that government mandates promoting environmentally preferable products distort markets and raise prices. Even if green marketing delivers on its pledges, many environmentalists say that sustainability is not a matter of buying green but of buying less.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Environmental Protection
Sep. 20, 2013  Future of the Arctic
Jun. 14, 2013  Climate Change
Nov. 06, 2012  Vanishing Biodiversity
Nov. 02, 2012  Managing Wildfires
Nov. 04, 2011  Managing Public Lands
Aug. 26, 2011  Gulf Coast Restoration
Jul. 2010  Plastic Pollution
Feb. 2010  Climate Change
Jan. 09, 2009  Confronting Warming
Dec. 05, 2008  Reducing Your Carbon Footprint
Nov. 2008  Carbon Trading
Oct. 03, 2008  Protecting Wetlands
Feb. 29, 2008  Buying Green
Dec. 14, 2007  Future of Recycling
Nov. 30, 2007  Disappearing Species
Feb. 2007  Curbing Climate Change
Dec. 01, 2006  The New Environmentalism
Jan. 27, 2006  Climate Change
Oct. 25, 2002  Bush and the Environment
Oct. 05, 2001  Invasive Species
Nov. 05, 1999  Saving Open Spaces
Jun. 11, 1999  Saving the Rain Forests
May 21, 1999  Setting Environmental Priorities
Mar. 19, 1999  Partisan Politics
Oct. 16, 1998  National Forests
Jun. 19, 1998  Environmental Justice
Aug. 23, 1996  Cleaning Up Hazardous Wastes
Mar. 31, 1995  Environmental Movement at 25
Jun. 19, 1992  Lead Poisoning
May 15, 1992  Jobs Vs. Environment
Jan. 17, 1992  Oil Spills
Sep. 20, 1991  Saving the Forests
Apr. 26, 1991  Electromagnetic Fields: Are They Dangerous?
Sep. 08, 1989  Free Market Environmental Protection
Dec. 09, 1988  Setting Environmental Priorities
Jul. 29, 1988  Living with Hazardous Wastes
Dec. 20, 1985  Requiem for Rain Forests?
Aug. 17, 1984  Protecting the Wilderness
Jun. 15, 1984  Troubled Ocean Fisheries
Aug. 19, 1983  America's Disappearing Wetlands
Feb. 22, 1980  Noise Control
Nov. 16, 1979  Closing the Environmental Decade
Oct. 13, 1978  Toxic Substance Control
Feb. 27, 1976  Pollution Control: Costs and Benefits
Nov. 28, 1975  Forest Policy
May 30, 1975  Wilderness Preservation
Dec. 20, 1974  Environmental Policy
Nov. 14, 1973  Strip Mining
Dec. 01, 1971  Global Pollution
Jul. 21, 1971  Protection of the Countryside
Jan. 06, 1971  Pollution Technology
Jun. 19, 1968  Protection of the Environment
Oct. 30, 1963  Noise Suppression
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Air Pollution
Energy and the Environment
Water Pollution
FEEDBACK

Your Email Address

Subject

Provide Feedback

Suggest a topic here.

Type the characters you see below into the box

Take our survey to help us improve CQ Researcher!