By Barbara Kessler
Green Right Now

The economy is in the tank. But green consumers haven’t tossed in their organic cotton towels.

A survey out today reports that 34 percent of Americans say they are more likely to buy environmentally responsible products today than they were a year ago. Another 44 percent say their environmental shopping habits have not changed as a result of the economy.

The Cone Consumer Environmental Survey concludes that Americans interest in preserving the environment is not getting washed away by economic worries.

Among the other findings:

  • 35 percent of Americans have higher expectations for companies to make and sell environmentally responsible products and services during the economic downturn
  • 70 percent of Americans indicate that they are paying attention to companies’ environmental footprints, even if they are not buying from that company at the moment.

“The fact that consumers continue to be interested in the environment and mindful of corporate efforts, even in the midst of a grueling recession, is evidence that this is more than just a passing trend,” says Jonathan Yohannan, Senior Vice President of Corporate Responsibility for Cone.

“Environmental responsibility is not just an expectation in times of prosperity.”

Yohannan went on to urge companies to “develop authentic and long-term commitments” to the environment, and not just capitalize on the green movement with market “messaging”.

The survey sampled 1,087 adults – 518 men and 569 women 18 years of age and older – during January. Cone is a strategy and communications company based in Boston.

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