Does an uptick in the economy give people more reason to care about Mother Earth? That is what a March 2013 Harris Poll of 2,276 US adults (ages 18+) interviewed online set to find out as Earth Day quickly approaches. Turns out that concern for the current state, and future, of the environment is on the rise in 2013 (38% vs. 31% in 2012), just as economic indicators point to all time stock market highs and a solid housing market recovery. However, as Americans start to feel better about reaching into their pockets, they still may not be ready to dish out the extra green on organic items. Turns out that more than half (59%) agree that labeling food or other products as organic is just an excuse to charge more.
"What surprised us most was that while Americans are showing more concern for the environment, they aren't necessarily willing to pay more to do anything about it," says Mike de Vere, president of the Harris Poll. "While Americans feel better about the economy, many are wary of the 'greenwashing' concept that gives companies a chance to cash in on consumers who want to help the planet but are confused by all the eco-friendly jargon."
Going green continues to be a gray area, as consumers try to decide where it makes sense to incorporate it into their lives. While recent research shows that organic produce and meat typically aren't any better for you than conventional varieties when it comes to vitamin and nutrient content(1), more than half of Americans (55%) believe that organic foods are healthier than non-organic.