Buying Green

Does it really help the environment?


Americans will spend an estimated $500 billion this year on products and services that claim to be good for the environment because they contain non-toxic ingredients or produce little pollution and waste. While some shoppers buy green to help save the planet, others are concerned about personal health and safety. Whatever their motives, eco-consumers are reshaping U.S. markets. To attract socially conscious buyers, manufacturers are designing new, green products and packaging, altering production processes and using sustainable materials. But some of these products may be wastes of money. Federal regulators are reviewing green labeling claims to see whether they mislead consumers, while some critics say that government mandates promoting environmentally preferable products distort markets and raise prices. Even if green marketing delivers on its pledges, ...

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