A recently-released survey by Harris Interactive found that spending can be impacted by concern for the environment. While that has remained constant among many age groups, more young adults ages 18-to-24 say they are taking the environment into consideration when making purchases.

Among the research findings, 26% of adults said that environmental issues are either “extremely” or “very” important to them when deciding which products or services to purchase, a number that has remained consistent across gender, geography, education and income.

The results remain little changed over the years: 27% of U.S. adults said environmental issues were extremely/very important to their purchasing decisions in 2010 and 26% said the same in 2009.

The story is quite different, however, among the youngest of U.S. adults. Nearly a third (31%) of 18-24 year-olds claim to take environmental issues into consideration when making purchases, a number which has steadily risen from 24% in 2010 and 22% in 2009.

Americans also continue to show a preference for products and services that are “green,” with 79% seeking out green products, slightly up from 78% in 2010 and 76% in 2009. But what has rebounded to 2009 levels is that 31% of U.S. adults say they are willing to pay extra for a green product, up from 28% in 2010, and back to the 32% who said the same in 2009.

Again, however, 18-24 year old U.S. adults show a striking change: 35% say they are willing to pay extra for a green product, a sharp rise from 27% in 2010 and 25% in 2009. And, although just 4% of all U.S. adults seek out green products and services regardless of the cost (virtually unchanged from 3% in 2010 and 2009), the 18-24 year old age group is at a remarkable 11%, far above the 3% of 18-24 year-olds who said the same in 2010 and 2009. At the same time though, even half of this youngest age group (51%) say they are not willing to pay extra for green products.

(Source: Retailing Today, 05/30/12)

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