I share Anastasia Goodstein’s puzzlement over this survey by the generally reputable (or at least often-cited) Jupiter Research firm showing that teens who self-identify as green are also more likely than average to have bought stuff thanks to online marketing efforts:
“As a result of online advertising, 29 percent of green teens report having made a purchase in a traditional store during the past 12 months and 19 percent have made a purchase online. This compares favorably with online teens overall, of which 22 percent have made an in-store purchase and 13 percent online as a result of online marketing efforts.”
It seems ironic to me that “green teens” who are concerned about the environment are actually more rabid consumers than teens who don’t identify as “green.” Are they buying environmentally conscious stuff like hemp lip balm or just buying more stuff?
The benign explanation is that greener teens are more wired even than other online teens — and so it’s not that they’ve bought more stuff, just that they’re more likely to have been influenced by online marketing.
One less benign explanation is that a good chunk of green teens are just conspicuous consumers, and because green is the colour of the moment, they’re buying organic Fair Trade stuff to be seen with it. Next year it’ll be Hello Kitty again, and then after that, clothes made of beef.
Probably a bit of both.