‘Green’ more important as consumers get older

Consumer research firm NPD Group has released results of a survey that shows as consumers get older, their concern about environmentally friendly products increases.

In the category of home insulation products, 82 percent of respondents 55 years and older said they believed buying eco-friendly materials is important. Comparatively, 77 percent of those aged 44 to 54 agreed, 70 percent of those aged 35 to 44 agreed and 63 percent of those aged 18 to 34 agreed.

In major appliances, 79 percent of respondents over 55 said going green is important. Seventy-four percent of those aged 45 to 54 agreed, 67 percent of those aged 35 to 44 agreed and 62 percent of those aged 18 to 34 agreed.

In home lighting, 68 percent of respondents 55 and over said eco-friendly products are important, while 64 percent of those between 45 and 54 agreed. Fifty-nine percent of respondents between 35 and 44 believed eco-friendly lighting was important, and 57 percent of those between 18 and 34 agreed.

The fewest respondents believed eco-friendly paint was of importance, but those over 55 still led the four groups with 67 percent saying environmentally friendly paint is preferable. Sixty-two percent of those between the ages of 45 and 54 agreed, 59 percent of those between 35 and 44 agreed and just 50 percent of respondents between 18 and 34 agreed.

“The information in the report is somewhat contrary to the belief that it’s the younger generation who is more concerned about going ‘green,’ ” said Mark Delaney, director of home improvement for NPD Group. “It may be that the older generation is now looking to leave the planet in better shape for their children and grandchildren.”

Additionally, the research shows that price still is a factor in whether consumers will go green. Only 38 percent of consumers say they are willing to pay more for environmentally friendly products. Respondents who said they are unwilling to pay substantially more for green products cited the current economic climate. NPD also found respondents have a “healthy skepticism” around products claiming to be “green.”

In all, 64 percent of consumers surveyed said they believe it is important to purchase environmentally friendly products for their homes. Additionally, according to NPD Retail Tracking Service, unit sales of Energy Star appliances have increased 9 percent in the 12 months ending August this year, compared to the same time two years ago.

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