SUMMER 2011 VOLUME 45, NUMBER 2 329BITS, BRIEFS AND APPLICATIONSMARLA B. ROYNE, MARIAN LEVY,AND JENNIFER MARTINEZThe Public Health Implications of Consumers’Environmental Concern and Their Willingnessto Pay for an Eco-Friendly ProductEnvironmental concern has been an important topic for more than40 years and has recently become even more critical with today’sconcerns about creating a sustainable and healthy environment. Thisresearch examines factors affecting an individual’s willingness to paymore for an environmentally friendly product. Our results showthat willingness to pay more differs across demographic groups.We also ﬁnd that individuals who rate concern for waste as highlyimportant are willing to spend more money on an eco-friendly product.Consequently, our ﬁndings provide insight into the development ofappropriate educational strategies for different consumer groups toencourage consumers to purchase eco-friendly products, with a goalof creating a healthier environment for current and future generations.The challenge of healthier communities begins with environmentalconcern and collective adoption of eco-friendly behaviors, because thechoices consumers make with regard to the environment inﬂuence thehealth and quality of life for both current and future generations. Ingeneral terms, environmental concern is a “concept that can refer tofeelings [consumers have] about many different green issues” (Zimmer,Stafford, and Stafford 1994, p. 64). The topic became an important one in1962 when Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring was published and has recentlybecome even more critical with today’s concerns about creating a sus-tainable and healthy environment. Trends show a remarkable increase inconsumer worry about environmental problems (e.g., Gallup Poll 2009)Marla B. Royne (firstname.lastname@example.org) is Professor and Chair in the Department ofMarketing & Supply Chain Management, Fogelman College of Business & Economics, MarianLevy (email@example.com) is Associate Professor and Director, Master of Public Health Program,and Jennifer Martinez (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a doctoral student in the Department of Marketing& Supply Chain Management, Fogelman College of Business & Economics, all at the Universityof Memphis.The Journal of Consumer Affairs, Summer 2011: 329–343ISSN 0022-0078Copyright 2011 by The American Council on Consumer Interests
330 THE JOURNAL OF CONSUMER AFFAIRSand continued support for alternative forms of energy generation (Pew2010) and other sustainable initiatives. Interest in environmental issueshas also triggered rapid growth and enrollment in environmental coursesoffered in colleges and universities (Fuller 2010). In the corporate world,environmentalism has moved to the boardroom (Hanas 2007), while at thelay level, magazines such as Popular Mechanics feature articles related toglobal warming (http://www.popularmechanics.com 2010). In addition,a recent blog points out that popular media incorporate environmentalmessages into their programming: “The powers that be at NBC Univer-sal started going green and making the environment a priority, using atactic called ‘behavior placement’ to weave subtle eco-friendly messagesinto the scripts of some of the network’s most popular daytime and primetime programs” (http://www.environment.about.com 2010).Although the environmental movement can be traced back to the nine-teenth century, the modern iteration of environmental concern as an issueof critical interest began about four decades ago. Most recently, thisconcern has reappeared in the academic, scientiﬁc and popular press interms of issues related to sustainability and renewable resources (e.g.,Gallup 2009; Pew 2009, 2010). For example, a major initiative in theNational Science Foundation’s proposed 2011 budget is expanded sup-port for climate research activities, designed to address challenges insustainability, energy research and education (http://www.nsf.gov 2010).The latest approach to understanding and researching sustainability andenvironmental concepts spans several disciplines including marketing,public policy and public health, among others.In particular, sustainability is recognized as a major public health issueof the twenty-ﬁrst century (American Public Health Association 2007).Health concerns are a primary component of overall environmental con-cern because physical surroundings (air quality, water protection andeven the availability of health care alternatives) directly affect humansurvival and quality of life (Zimmer, Stafford, and Stafford 1994), andindividuals who practice environmental behaviors will promote healthiercommunities, via improved quality of air, water and physical health (Patzand Olson 2006). Consequently, understanding environmental concernamong consumers can have an important inﬂuence on public health.The Environmental ConsumerAlthough the majority of US consumers indicate they are “envi-ronmentalists” (Osterhus 1997; Ottman 2004; Shrum, McCarty, andLowrey 1995), this “mindset” does not necessarily translate into
SUMMER 2011 VOLUME 45, NUMBER 2 331pro-environmental behavior (Kaiser, W¨olﬁng, and Fuhrer 1999) indicat-ing an attitude–behavior gap. It is possible that this gap is a result ofindividuals not understanding the personal beneﬁts, including the healthadvantages of engaging in such behaviors. That is, individuals may notunderstand how closely the environment and health are intertwined. Thus,it stands to reason that programs which bolster consumer knowledge andencourage a belief in consumers that their actions can positively affectthe environment, their own health, as well as their own well-being, mighthelp to close this gap.Not surprisingly, existing research has also found that some consumersare willing to pay more for green products, while other consumers arenot (Laroche, Bergeron, and Barbaro-Forleo 2001; Loureiro, McCluskey,and Mittelhammer 2002; Vlosky, Ozanne, and Fontenot 1999). In theirstudy of product labeling, D’Souza et al (2007) found that while someconsumers are willing to pay more for an eco-friendly product, theseconsumers are reluctant to compromise on product quality. One generalﬁnding is that consumers who perceive a beneﬁt that exceeds the extracost of purchasing green products are willing to pay more for thatproduct (Abdul-Muhmin 2007; Moon and Balasubramanian 2003), butthese studies assume that the consumer has full knowledge about theproduct’s beneﬁts and its costs. For instance, fresh fruit and vegetablesare more expensive than processed foods, but are known to reduce therisk of colorectal, breast and other cancers, as well as protect against otherchronic conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease (N¨othlingset al. 2008). But these health beneﬁts may not be known to manyconsumers. Existing research on food products provides evidence of thiscost-beneﬁt disparity of knowledge (Grantham 2007; Kaneko and Chern2005; Pew 2006). Moreover, other research indicates that environmentalclaims are often misunderstood (Maronick and Andrews 1999).Initial research to understand consumer perceptions of environmen-tal concern (Anderson and Cunningham 1972) and ecological concern(Kinnear, Taylor, and Ahmed 1974) began in the 1970s. By the 1980s,increased efforts began to better understand and proﬁle the environmen-tally concerned consumer. For example, Manzo and Weinstein (1987)studied the difference in levels of environmental concern between activeand nonactive members of the Sierra Club. Results suggested that themore consumers are involved and aware of environmental issues andthe consequences of their behavior, the greater the degree of signiﬁcantbehavioral commitment to environmental protection.Other research examined which demographic variables might be cor-related with varying levels of environmental concern (Ellen, Wiener, and
332 THE JOURNAL OF CONSUMER AFFAIRSCobb-Walgren 1991; Newell and Green 1997; Samdahl and Robertson1989). Much of the evidence suggested that environmentally concernedconsumers were generally younger, more afﬂuent, more educated,more urban and more politically liberal than other consumers (Aakerand Bagozzi, 1982; Anderson and Cunningham 1972; Antil 1984;Leonard-Barton 1981; Samdahl and Robertson 1989; Shama 1985).Although this research stream developed a general proﬁle of the typ-ical environmentalist, it failed to examine different types of environ-mental concern, despite the belief that environmental concern is amultifaceted concept (Drumwright 1994; Straughan and Roberts 1999;Zimmer, Stafford, and Stafford 1994). Because it is likely that differentdemographic groups may be willing to pay more or less for an envi-ronmentally friendly product, understanding these differences can helpensure that appropriate and effective green messages are developed withthe goal of encouraging eco-friendly purchases by promoting sustainabil-ity and its positive effects on health and well-being. In short, reachingdifferent consumer groups with the appropriate strategies may translateinto more positive eco-friendly behaviors (i.e., paying more for an eco-friendly products) resulting in a better living environment and improvedhealth for current and future generations.Three popular and well-used demographic grouping variables are age,gender and ethnicity. Age is a simple, yet critical variable, because ageallows for an understanding of how wants and needs change as an individ-ual matures. Speciﬁcally, Hansman and Schutjens (1993) found that agepredicts changes in attitudes and behavior. do Paco and Raposa (2009)noted that the existing research on age and environmental attitudes hasbeen inconsistent and suggest that additional research be conducted inthis area.Gender has been studied as a predictor of attitudes for many yearsbased on the notion that males and females possess distinct characteris-tics, and green research has suggested that females might be more envi-ronmentally concerned than males (Lee 2009; Mostafa 2007; Schwartzand Miller 1991). Interest has also been demonstrated in revealing differ-ences in environmental concern across ethnic groups (Baugh 1991; Ellen,Wiener, and Cobb-Walgren 1991; Jones and Carter 1994; Newell andGreen 1997). Ellen, Wiener, and Cobb-Walgren (1991) failed to detectdifferences in environmental concern across African Americans and Cau-casians. Newell and Green (1997) reported that White consumers weremore concerned with the overall environment, but also noted that earlyresearch failed to account for age or income differences within the groupsstudied. Their own research found that the signiﬁcant differences between
SUMMER 2011 VOLUME 45, NUMBER 2 333White and Black consumers were observed only at the lower incomeand educational levels. Williams (1989) claimed that younger individualswithin a racial category are well-versed about the environment as com-pared to older individuals in the same racial group. Moreover, Ellen,Wiener, and Cobb-Walgren (1991) noted the need to acknowledge dif-ferent racial segments when communicating about the environment.Because some consumers are willing to spend more than others toprotect the environment, it is logical to assume that these more willingconsumers may take a more active role in the environment. Hence, if wewere able to identify the characteristics of the consumers that are willingto spend more, then appropriate messages can be communicated to them.Therefore, we sought to determine whether willingness to pay morediffered by demographic characteristics. Hence, we pose the followingresearch question:RQ1: Is a particular demographic group willing to pay more for an eco-friendlyproduct, and if so, which one(s)?Research centered on environmental concern has focused largely onsegmentation, based on individual and group perceptions and behaviorsregarding general environmental concern (Diamantopoulos et al. 2003;do Paco and Raposo 2009; D’Souza et al. 2007; Lee 2009; Loureiro,McCluskey, and Mittelhammer 2002; Newell and Green 1997; Straughanand Roberts 1999). Unfortunately, research surrounding environmentalconcern tends to consider each major component in a vacuum (Allen,Davis, and Soskin 1993; Harrell and McConocha 1992; Morris, Hastak,and Mazis 1995; Schwepker and Cornwell 1991) as opposed to taking acomprehensive view to determine the relative importance of each com-ponent of concern. Moreover, the relative importance of each type ofenvironmental issue and how it inﬂuences eco-friendly behaviors havenot yet been explored.In evaluating the elements of environmental concern in a more compre-hensive manner, we can identify salient aspects for promoting eco-issuesto consumers. When consumers adopt new behaviors that conserve theearth’s resources (e.g., buying an eco-friendly product that costs more),their health and quality of life will greatly beneﬁt. To help promote thispotential behavior, it is useful to determine which aspects of the environ-ment are perceived as more important to different groups. Stisser (1994)believed it is critical to understand how important the environment is toconsumers relative to the environmental beneﬁts they are seeking. Fur-thermore, by identifying these key environmental issues and assessing
334 THE JOURNAL OF CONSUMER AFFAIRSthe effect of these on the consumer’s choice to purchase an eco-friendlyproduct, we are following the process of behavior-driven researchers, theapproach advocated by Bone, France, and Aikin (2009) in their commen-tary on health literacy.To examine the different elements of environmental concern, we utilizethe seven dimensions of concern identiﬁed by Zimmer, Stafford, andStafford (1994). This allowed us to determine whether the level ofimportance of certain types of environmental concern is signiﬁcantlyrelated to the willingness to spend more on an eco-friendly product.Thus, we examine the following research question:RQ2: Is the importance level of a speciﬁc type of environmental concern relatedto how much more an individual is willing to pay for an eco-friendly product?DATA COLLECTIONTo answer our research questions, we sought a sample of consumerswho have in some manner demonstrated at least a minimal interest inenvironmentalism. Hence, we collected data at Sustainable TechnologiesAwareness Day (STAD) at a major southeastern urban university. STADwas held to encourage environmental awareness, inquiry and activismamong students, faculty and staff; it featured more than forty eco-friendlyinitiatives at the university, in the community and by industry partners.These initiatives focused on recycling and other actions that reduce healthrisks, improve air quality and reduce costs.During the event, attendees were asked to complete a brief survey thatincluded the seven different types of environmental concern identiﬁed byZimmer, Stafford, and Stafford (1994): concern for waste, concern forwildlife, concern for the biosphere, concern for popular issues, concernfor health, concern for energy and concern for environmental technology.According to Zimmer, Stafford, and Stafford, these seven items comprisean overall measure of environmental concern. Examples of each concerntype were provided to respondents (see Table 1 for a description of theseven types of concern). Respondents were asked to rate their perceivedimportance of each of the seven types of environmental concern on ascale of 1 to 5, with 5 being most important. The reliability coefﬁcient forthe seven items as an overall measure of environmental concern was .80,demonstrating acceptable reliability. In addition, we asked respondents(in percentage terms) how much more they would be willing to payfor an eco-friendly product as compared to a non-eco-friendly product.They also had the option of indicating that they were unwilling to spend
SUMMER 2011 VOLUME 45, NUMBER 2 335TABLE 1Issues and DescriptionsConcern for Waste Concern for reducing and managing waste. Examples includewaste control, waste disposal/reduction, landﬁlls, and recyclingConcern for Wildlife Concern for preserving animals and their habitats. Examplesinclude species preservation, wilderness protection, trade inrare species/poaching and deforestationConcern for the Biosphere Concern for the earth and the air. Examples include ozonedepletion and the greenhouse effectConcern for Popular lssues Concern for popular issues with recent visibility in the popularpress. Examples include overpopulation, citizen participation,erosion and climate change.Concern for Health Concern for human survival and quality of life. Examples includehuman health, water protection and air pollution.Concern for Energy Concern for energy sources and consumption. Examples includeclean energy, alternative energy sources, energy conservation,and automobilesConcern for EnvironmentalTechnologyConcern for technologies that can affect the environmentproactively. Examples include biotechnology, safe technologyand community economic developmentmore on such a product. In addition, we asked respondents their age,gender and ethnicity. Gender and ethnicity were categorical variables,while actual age was requested.Attendees who completed the survey and visited a minimum of threeexhibitors were treated to a healthy lunch. A total of 337 participantscompleted the survey. About 72% were students, 21% were faculty/staffand 7% were campus visitors; 57% were female and 43% were male.About 42% were over 30 and the average age was 29.2 years. About 51%were Caucasian, 35% were African American, 6% were Asian, and 3%were Hispanic. The rest of the sample identiﬁed themselves as “other.”Analysis and ResultsAlthough we used a convenience sample of students, faculty and com-munity members at one university on a day dedicated to sustainability,we actually view this limited sample as a positive source of data becauseall respondents had exhibited some form of pro-environmental behavior.As shown in Table 2, the three concerns rated most highly were health(mean = 4.51), energy (mean = 4.48) and waste (mean = 4.21). In addi-tion, 91.2% of respondents indicated that they were willing to pay moremoney for products that are eco-friendly, although the percentage listedranged from 1% to 100%. The most frequent response to this open-endedquestion was 10%; that is, 26.4% of the respondents indicated that they
336 THE JOURNAL OF CONSUMER AFFAIRSTABLE 2Overall Means and Standard DeviationsIssue Mean SDWaste 4.21 0.917Wildlife 4.13 0.961Biosphere 3.99 1.007Popular issues 3.92 1.017Health 4.51 0.746Energy 4.48 0.750Environmental technology 4.02 0.983were willing to pay 10% more for an eco-friendly product. About 49%were willing to pay 10% more or less. However, 8.8% were unwillingto spend any more money on an eco-friendly product.To answer Research Questions 1 and 2, data were analyzed via theGeneral Linear Model in SPSS. The independent variables includedgender and ethnicity as categorical variables, with age and the seventypes of environmental concern as continuous variables. The interac-tion effect between gender and ethnicity (the two categorical variables)was also included in the model. The single dependent variable was theadditional percent individuals were willing to pay for an eco-friendlyproduct. The overall model was signiﬁcant (F = 2.15, p = .006) andunivariate F-tests indicated that age (F = 4.14, p = .04), ethnicity (F =3.51, p = .01) and waste (F = 5.81, p = .02) were all signiﬁcant. Thegender × ethnicity interaction was not signiﬁcant (F = .83, p = .51).The signiﬁcant effect for age indicates that consumer age has aninﬂuence on how much more a consumer is willing to pay for anenvironmentally friendly product. The parameter estimate for age was−.197 (t = −2.035, p = .04), indicating that younger respondents arewilling to pay more than their older counterparts for an eco-friendlyproduct, a ﬁnding consistent with much of the work that proﬁles theenvironmentally concerned consumer.For ethnicity, the group that categorized themselves as “Other” waswilling to spend the most (28.85%), with African Americans coming insecond (22.66%). Pairwise comparisons indicate that both African Amer-ican and Others were willing to spend signiﬁcantly more than Caucasians(14.61%; p < .01 and p < .05, respectively). However, because therewere small sample sizes for three of the ethnic groups (Asian Americans,Hispanics and Others), these results should be regarded with caution.Nevertheless, these results do indicate a positive response for ResearchQuestion 1—that certain demographic groups are willing to pay more for
SUMMER 2011 VOLUME 45, NUMBER 2 337TABLE 3Univariate F-Tests: Percentage More Willing to PayF-Test p-ValueGender 1.21 .27Ethnicity 3.51 .01Age 4.14 .04Gender × Ethnicity 0.83 .51Waste 5.81 .02Wildlife 0.11 .74Biosphere 0.70 .41Popular issues 0.05 .82Health 0.05 .82Energy 0.00 .97Environmental technology 1.50 .22an eco-friendly product—and our ﬁndings provide some insight into thatgroups.As indicated in Table 3, only one type of environmental concern wassigniﬁcantly related to the amount an individual was willing to pay: con-cern for waste (β = 4.07, t = 2.41, p = .02). Hence, our results suggestthat those individuals who perceive waste as highly important are morelikely to be associated with a willingness to pay more for a product thatis environmentally friendly.DISCUSSION AND IMPLICATIONSBecause our ﬁnal sample resulted in small cell sizes in the ethnicitycategory and because we only examined three demographic variables,generalizations from our ﬁndings must be drawn with caution. However,our ﬁndings do offer insight into perceptions of environmental concernand willingness to pay for an eco-friendly product.Given the signiﬁcant difference of just one type of concern—waste—asan inﬂuencer of paying more for an environmentally friendly prod-uct, this research reinforces the notion of environmental concern as amultifaceted concept. Moreover, the presence of signiﬁcant differencesbased on different demographic characteristics suggests that some of thewidely held beliefs about environmental concern may be inaccurate orincomplete.For ethnicity, we found that African Americans are willing to spendsigniﬁcantly more than Caucasians on an eco-friendly product and Cau-casians are willing to spend the least. These ﬁndings are consistent withthe viewpoint of Newell and Green (1997), who dispelled the belief
338 THE JOURNAL OF CONSUMER AFFAIRSthat African Americans are apathetic toward the environment. Thus, ourresults reinforce the importance of avoiding stereotypes as well as updat-ing the proﬁle of the environmentally concerned consumer to ensure thatappropriate messages are communicated.Speciﬁcally, these ethnic differences suggest that communicating sus-tainable practices to Caucasians should possibly emphasize a potentialfor minimal expense (e.g., low minimum purchase requirement, shortcontract lengths) or long-term ﬁnancial incentives (energy-efﬁcient appli-ances). At the same time, it may be important to educate these otherethnic groups on why it is important to invest in eco-friendly products.However, because of the noted small cell sizes from the ethnicity analy-sis, these implications must be considered as suggestive only. Regardless,as our nation’s population is becoming more diverse, the public healthcommunity acknowledges the need to develop communication and healthmessages that resonate with ethnic groups, motivate engagement andsupport wise consumer choices. As noted in Healthy People (2010), acomprehensive set of objectives to promote America’s health, a tremen-dous disparity exists in morbidity and mortality of ethnic, underservedpopulations, compared with Caucasians. A major goal and public healthpriority is to promote health equity for minority groups (US Departmentof Health and Human Services 2000).The results for age indicate that younger individuals are willing tospend signiﬁcantly more money than their older counterparts for aneco-friendly product. These ﬁndings suggest that educational messagestargeted toward older adults may be necessary to encourage purchaseof such products. The importance of these educational messages isunderscored by the fact that the elderly are particularly vulnerable toenvironmental issues related to motor vehicle air pollution and global cli-mate change (US Climate Change Program 2008), because such changesdue to greenhouse gases are believed to produce increased health risksfrom extreme weather events (e.g., ﬂooding), extreme heat, infectious dis-eases, water contamination and vector-borne illnesses (Ebi et al. 2006;Kjellstrom et al. 2007). Moreover, physical limitations resulting from airpollution and climate change reduce mobility and recommended physi-cal activity that sustains health. Other affected health behaviors includedietary practices, which decline due to physical changes, such as reduc-tions in taste perception, olfactory sense and dentition. In sum, it is criticalto educate the older population on why it is important to invest in prod-ucts that can help the environment. This educational message must bepresented in “plain language” to ensure that the targeted consumer (inthis case, older adults) can understand the relevance of this information
SUMMER 2011 VOLUME 45, NUMBER 2 339to their own health status and engage in the appropriate behavior basedon that understanding (Bone, France and Aikin 2009).Our ﬁndings also suggest that respondents who are particularly con-cerned with waste may be more likely to spend more money on anenvironmentally friendly product. Therefore, a reduced usage of energyvia simpler packaging and recycling innovations may be supported bya group of consumers. This decrease in energy consumption translatesto decreased fossil fuel combustion and, in turn, reduced atmosphericrelease of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, methane and ozone.Individuals with cardiovascular and respiratory illnesses (e.g., asthma)are especially harmed by increases in ozone air production. Thus, moreexpensive green products may fare better when targeted toward thoseindividuals who are more concerned with waste-related issues. Ideally,products targeted to such groups should be recyclable or otherwise helpfulin reducing waste. Green products targeted to other demographic groupsmay need to be less expensive.However, green products are often more costly to manufacture thanless eco-friendly goods, and therefore, are simply more expensive forconsumers to purchase. As many manufacturers are required by govern-ment entities (e.g., the Food and Drug Administration) to comply withproduction and labeling guidelines for organic or sustainably producedgoods, one consideration is to educate consumers and, in particular, olderadults on the inherent costs that drive the price of green products higherthan nongreen products. One potential avenue is through communityinformation sessions sponsored by government agencies, a suggestionmade by Newell and Green (1997) in their work on environmental con-cern. Educating consumers on why green products cost more as well asthe beneﬁts of using green products, particularly where health beneﬁtsare concerned (i.e., reduced factory emissions, pesticide-free agriculture),may be helpful in closing the gap between consumers merely possess-ing a pro-environmental attitude and extending that attitude to intentionsto adopt pro-environmental behaviors—in the case here, spending moremoney on an environmentally friendly product. However, because ourresearch only examined willingness to pay for an eco-friendly prod-uct and not behavior, this speculation needs to be examined in futureresearch.Although a movement toward reducing the costs of these environmen-tally friendly products might be helpful, it may not be realistic. Anotheralternative is increased government subsidies for companies developingeco-friendly products so that the cost to the consumer can be reduced. Ifthe ultimate universal goal is a sustainable environment with long-term
340 THE JOURNAL OF CONSUMER AFFAIRShealth beneﬁts for all consumers, then collective effort among consumersand businesses is critical.In short, our research begins to understand who is willing to pay morefor an environmentally friendly product and what types of environmentalconcern may motivate individuals to do so allowing for the developmentof effective communications to different groups of consumers to educatethem on the beneﬁts of purchasing these products. Addressing salientneeds is critical in moving from environmental concern to action, andconsumers need to play an active role in maintaining their environmentto protect their own community and personal health. By matching educa-tional messages to individual and collective group concerns, as impliedby Ellen, Wiener, and Cobb-Walgren (1991), these messages can be basedon consumers’ innate susceptibilities as well as their individual perspec-tives and concerns. That is, it is unlikely that one environmental campaignencouraging the purchase of an eco-friendly product can be created toappeal to a broad range of consumers. Yet the future vulnerability to thehealth impacts of climate change depends on our capacity for collectiveaction.The public health implications of climate change are both long termand immediate. A long-term approach is needed to reverse the detrimen-tal impact on global atmosphere and ecosystems. In this case, the useof temporal framing (presenting a message with a speciﬁc time refer-ence) may be an effective strategy in reaching consumers (Kees 2011).However, there also exists an immediate task to communicate the needfor adopting eco-responsible lifestyles. We agree with Newell and Green(1997) that government agencies must provide the critical informationto consumers and, in particular, those groups of consumers who may bemost affected by environmental-related problems. In addition, as notedby Rotfeld (2011), it is important to base information and programs onhow people might actually use the information to change their behav-iors. With our increasingly diverse population, it is clear that “one sizedoes not ﬁt all.” Our research has provided some insight into how topromote consumer education and eco-friendly actions. Moreover, wemust advocate for simultaneous shifts in community institutions andpolicy to support individual behavior change. Changes in transporta-tion, land use and housing policies are needed. Corporate incentivesto minimize greenhouse gas emissions and support production of alter-nate energy would support eco-friendly consumer behaviors. Adoptingthese strategies would be important steps to address the environmentalimpact of global climate change and, ultimately, to protect consumerhealth.
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