When the largest chain of burger restaurants in the world introduces a plant-based burger, it’s a sign of how mainstream eco-friendly products have become. Yes, it appeals to vegans and is a healthier choice, but it’s more than that. Going plant-based means cutting down carbon emissions by 50%. There are lots of reasons why there are more eco-friendly products in the stores and at your local restaurant. If you’ve been curious about this, we are here to help. Read on for the top 5 reasons why there are more eco-friendly products.
First, let’s look at how much interest has grown for eco-friendly products. Though it’s everywhere now, it didn’t come out of nowhere. It’s history began in the 1960s and even earlier, when writers like Rachel Carson first started to write about climate change and raise awareness of how our actions impact the planet. Did you know the first Earth Day was back in 1970? Environmentalism is not new!
Demand for eco-friendly products and services have exploded in recent years. There is more awareness of the true cost of fast fashion, and people are educating themselves to be ethical consumers. One study found that searches for sustainable goods have increased by 71% in the past 5 years. And that actually leads us to the #1 reason for why there are more eco-friendly products!
#1 Consumer Demand
It’s a basic law of economics - demand increases supply. A business wants to sell products people want to buy. As we’ve seen, people are searching more for sustainable goods. Companies pay attention to this. Knowing that people want to buy eco-friendly products has led to more product development. Companies are making more environmentally friendly products to meet consumer demand. Whether it’s starting to make electric cars, switching to manufacturing processes which use recycled materials, or shifting to recycled packaging, companies are actively increasing the amount of eco-friendly products available.
The numbers are staggering - in the UK, ethical spending (purchasing eco-friendly products and services) was £3.1 billion back in 1999, and a whopping £29.7bn in 2018.
#2 Generational Shift
Another reason for the rise in eco-friendly products is the changing demographics of our society. The younger generations are more aware of carbon emissions and the impact of climate change. Science is pretty clear about how different our world will be in 2050, and that is going to have more of an impact on young people than the Boomers who won’t be around to see it. As the young people begin their working lives and have money to spend, they are spending it on eco-friendly products.
#3 Spending Habits
For a long time, price was a barrier for eco-friendly products. Few people wanted to buy recycled toilet paper when it was twice the cost. One of the many upsides of the increase of eco-friendly products is the economies of scale - prices are coming down. Even more powerful than that is how spending habits have changed. Only 46% of Boomers are willing to pay more for eco-friendly products, so much lower than Millennials - 61% of whom agree they would pay more. With consumers valuing eco-friendly products and willing to pay more, it encourages businesses to shift to sustainable products.
#4 Government Action
The growing demand for eco-friendly products is also putting political pressure on governments to take action to protect our environment. The European Union has restricted the sale of single-use plastics, especially for all that pesky food packaging. Other countries are looking for their own ways to force companies to reduce plastic and shift to more sustainable practises. Canada and the UK are both working on bans to eliminate single-use plastic. This encourages companies to innovate and switch to eco-friendly products, packaging, and practises.
#5 Stock Market
What does the stock market have to do with this? Consumers choosing to spend their hard earned money on environmentally responsible companies means that eco-friendly is big business. And big business means big profits! Just as people want to buy products and services from eco-friendly businesses, they also want to invest with eco-friendly companies. The investing community recognizes this. There are indexes and measurements to identify firms who are following sustainable and environmentally responsible practises. To make these lists and please investors, major companies are fundamentally changing how they do business, and this is another reason why there are more eco-friendly products.
At Paper Shoot, we are proud to be one of the companies choosing to be environmentally responsible. It’s Paper Shoot - not plastic shoot! Our camera materials are biodegradable and our unique design means we incorporate alternatives to plastics. Here are a few other ways we are an eco-friendly choice for photography:
- All packaging is recyclable
- Our products are vegan
- The camera boards are ROHS certified, which means no toxic chemicals
- Many accessories (like our lenses) are diverted from landfills. Our manufacturer also builds accessories for Apple, and if Apple declines an order, we repurpose it!