Antecedents of Green Consumerism

Antecedents of Green Consumerism

Aylin Caliskan (Yasar University, Turkey)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-9558-8.ch001

Abstract

While green consumerism is considered as a solution to ecological problems, it is also seen as a good source of income and competitive advantage for commercial enterprises. It is extremely difficult for producers and marketers to design and position their green marketing efforts. Because green consumerism is not only a tendency towards products, but also a multi-faceted approach that varies from political struggle to ethical orientation. Therefore, green consumerism as a form of consumption is influenced by severe factors. Each green consumer exhibits different motivational drivers regarding to the attributes of a green product, service, or act. Therefore, it is vital to understand different preferences and different motivations among green customers. This chapter reviews the antecedents that affect the green purchasing behaviors of consumers. Factors affecting green consumerism are examined under three main headings: endogenous antecedents such as emotion, exogenous antecedents such as social norms, and structural antecedents such as price of the product.
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Background

By the effect of globalization and radical variations in the markets, consumption patterns of individuals have changed in time and accordingly new consuming behaviors have emerged since the rise of environmentalism (Cohen, 2001). The global temperatures rise and scarcity in natural resources increases. In the light of mentioned these changes, consumption patterns of individuals have shifted from mass to green in recent years. Green consumerism has an extremely important role in promoting environmental awareness. As being a comparatively new consuming behavior; green consumption has become one of the most remarkable trend that spreading very fast, links the eco - friendly consumption and more environmental preferences with the issue of responsibility (Connolly & Prothero, 2008).

Green consumerism can be defined as the practice of avoiding products that are deemed harmful to the environment or society, and buying products and services that effectively seek to minimize social and / or environmental damage. Green consumerism includes some standard behaviors that aim protecting the environment and decreasing the negative environmental effects (Sachdeva et al., 2015). For example purchasing environmental friendly products (i.e. energy saving light bulbs) and acting in an environment protection manner (i.e. turning off electrical appliances when not in use). Besides the environmental protection aim, in green consumerism, consumers also can have some other considerations such as health, taste, quality, and concern for the welfare of the fieldworkers.

Increasing the tendency of green consumerism depends on to ensure sustainable consumption. However, only 10% of consumers consume in a sustainable way even they indicate that they prefer to consume more environmental friendly products and services (United Nations Environmental Programme, 2005). Most recent study (Visser et al., 2015) also indicates that 6% of consumers base their purchases in a sustainable way. Therefore green marketing here has a trigger role to attract large segments of customers to consume in a greener way.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Green Consumerism: Pro-environmental and sustainable behavior of consumers.

Self-Efficacy: Belief of a person in his/her capacity to regulate the resources and bring them to life for the future.

Utilitarian Benefit: Meeting consumers’ concrete needs.

Waste: Unwanted materials left over from a manufacturing process or consumption process.

Mianzi: It increases according to the admiration collected within the community. It decreases when the person is ashamed/embarrassed.

Morality: Congenital or subsequent human behaviors and attitudes.

Greenhouse: A natural process in the world atmosphere, which prevents the sun rays coming out of the atmosphere and causing global warming.

Hybrid Vehicles: It is designed to reduce the consumption of gasoline. In order to achieve this, it uses electric motor instead of gasoline engine in cases such as congested traffic, low speed and thus provides 0 (zero) emission release.

Eco-Friendly Behavior: Having a useful life style for the environment.

Reuse: Using a product in its original form more than once.

Life Cycle Analysis: An evaluation method that provides information, including the calculation of the environmental impact of a product, service, or process starting from the acquisition of raw materials, through processing, production, use, end - of - life and disposal throughout the whole life cycle, where it can be measured, reported, resource efficiency and amount of waste generation.

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