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BECOMING ENVIRONMENTALLY-AWARE SHOPPERS

Consumers have the power to help the environment

While 73% of the public supports mandatory recycling laws and 95% of Americans say they recycle at least some items, for the environmentally-friendly shopper, there may be a less expensive, far more effective means of tackling the recyclable issue. While a search for alternative packaging may be both time consuming and costly, recyclable packaging, for the eco-consumer may no longer be necessary.

Rather than struggle with the recycling issue, environmentally aware food shoppers are simply refocusing their energies on the products themselves. Purchasing products based on the benefits and value they offer, consumers are bringing new light to those products which already support - simply by the way they are grown or produced - organic, earth friendly, and holistic concerns.

Environmentally aware food shoppers are already helping to improve the environment by buying organically grown produce. According to the Organic Trade Association, organic food clearly is moving into the mainstream, as evidenced by a 20 to 25 percent increase in sales every year for the last seven years.

Backed by a deeper appreciation for food (a holistic concept) and a thriving approach to farming (IPM & sustainable agriculture), women, age twenty to fifty, with children, are fueling the trend. The New York Times reports that 60 percent of Americans are interested in buying organic products, which in their eyes are better for the environment and also healthier because they are not made with synthetic substances.

And while a plant-based diet may take a smaller bite out of the environment, 17% of top chefs polled by Louis Harris & Associates also agree that organic and healthful cooking IS the next big culinary trend.

It seems eco-consumers need not make any claims or embrace the recycling philosophy as a whole in order to support a "worthy cause." Rather a search for an environmentally friendly concept seems to be as close as a personalized "earth-friendly" products campaign in the form of these thriving categories.

Written by: Trudy Hernandez


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