Shades of Green: Which are YOU?

image: shades of green
When you think about it, everything we do everyday has an impact on the planet.  A focus in our sustainability consulting is incrementally accelerating the levels of eco awareness individuals bring to their daily life choices.  Briefly stated, helping those that are green to be greener and those not so green, to see the green path.
According to the Natural Marketing Institute’s (NMI) Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability (LOHAS) Consumer Trends Database, more than 80% of today’s total U.S. adult population shows some type of green motivation.  NMI’s research divided the entire U.S. population into five segments based on their attitudes related to sustainability and social issues:

•    Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability: Early adopters and trendsetters driven by a sense of social responsibility (17% of U.S. adults).
•    Naturalites: Individuals motivated by personal wellness and a desire to live a healthy lifestyle (17% of U.S. adults).
•    Drifters: Trend followers who want to be seen as participating in the green movement but lack a genuine concern for the environment (24% of U.S. adults).
•    Conventionals: Individuals who have sustainable habits, like buying compact fluorescent light bulbs or reusing grocery bags, but are more motivated by a desire to save money and/or reduce waste than a sense of social responsibility (26% of U.S. adults).
•    Unconcerned: Those not involved or engaged with environmental issues (16% of U.S. adults).
A question we face in our sustainability consulting is, "How do individuals shift from one shade of green to another?"  Factors to consider include " Why do people go green?"    Some drivers include saving money, protecting the planet for future generations, preserving wildlife, or a basic attraction to doing what seems right.  Identifying motives for a sustainable lifestyle help us in our professional consulting to then direct a client's personal sustainability plan in the direction that is best for them.  

A successful sustainability plan is one in which the client finds the value in "going green" for themselves and takes ownership for their choices.  The end result is a client shifting from being perhaps a "drifter" to a "naturalite".    Fortunately, as sustainability consultants, we've witnessed that once a person embraces living a sustainable lifestyle, they continually move up the green scale.  The next question is, "Which shade of green are you?"

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