|Source: All Cars All the Time|
While consumers are more likely to ‘go green’ on the high street where they can be seen making altruistic choices, the privacy of online shopping brings out an entirely different behaviour.
When people are not being watched by their peers they are more willing to shun the ethical products in favour of comfort and convenience, the report says.
The habit has been studied by Vladas Griskevicius, of the University of Minnesota, who found ecofriendly shopping decisions are not always motivated by a social concern. He discovered that people were more likely to buy energy efficient light bulbs from the shops, but tended to opt for the old-fashioned type online. The same trend was also found when people purchased white goods, electronics and even domestic cleaning products over the internet.
Mr Griskevicius picks out the Toyota Prius car as a prime example. Celebrities including Leonardo Di Caprio and Cameron Diaz have been photographed behind the wheel of a Prius, despite being well able to afford a more powerful and expensive car, sending the message that they are concerned for the environment. ‘When you publicly display your environmentally friendly nature, you send the signal that you care,’ said the report. The study also showed that people were often more willing to buy green products when they were the most expensive option, because it showed they could afford to be caring.
The Daily Telegraph, March, 17, 2010, p. 13
READING COMPREHENSIONI. Answer the following questions using your own words but taking into account the information in the text
- a) What are the real reasons why consumers buy eco-friendly goods? PAR. 1
- b) Why do some film stars promote eco-friendly products? PAR. 5
II. Are the following statements true (T) or false (F)? Identify the part of the text that supports your answer by copying the exact passage on the answer sheet
a) People tend to buy more green products online.
- FALSE: Celebrities including Leonardo Di Caprio and Cameron Diaz have been photographed behind the wheel of a Prius
- TRUE: The study also showed that people were often more willing to buy green products when they were the most expensive option, because it showed they could afford to be caring.
III. Find a synonym for each of the four words below from these six options:
concerned privacy behaviour peers purchased prime
- a) concerned: preoccupied
- b) privacy: intimacy
- c) purchased: bought
- d) prime: representative, characteristic
IV. Choose a, b, or c, in each question below. Only one choice is correct
1. According to the report, people who buy eco-friendly products...
- a) are more interested in impressing their neighbours.
- b) are more interested in saving the planet.
- c) are more interested in comfort and convenience.
- a) consumers always ‘go green’.
- b) consumers rarely ‘go green’.
- c) consumers ‘go green’ if the bulbs are energy efficient.
- a) photographed cars including the Toyota Prius.
- b) promoted the Toyota Prius.
- c) bought powerful and expensive cars such as the Toyota Prius.