A new study found that people who consume less are happier than those who engage in other pro-environmental consumer behaviors, like buying environmentally friendly products.
Humans’ overconsumption of resources — from the food and clothes we buy to the methods of transportation we choose — is a leading contributor to global climate change, says University of Arizona researcher Sabrina Helm. Therefore, it’s increasingly important to understand the choices consumers make and how those decisions affect the health of a planet with limited resources.
In a new study, published in the journal Young Consumers, Helm and her collaborators explore how culturally entrenched materialistic values influence pro-environmental behaviors in millennials, who are now the nation’s most influential group of consumers.
The researchers focused on two main categories of pro-environmental behaviors:
- reduced consumption, which includes actions like repairing instead of replacing older items, avoiding impulse purchases and not buying unnecessary items
- “green buying,” or purchasing products designed to limit environmental impacts, such as goods made from recycled materials.
Sources: All texts, content, quotes and graphics by Sabrina Helms, University of Arizona. All credits and rights to Sabrina Helms, University of Arizona.