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Survey: Spending by young adults more impacted by green behavior

NEW YORK — A survey released Wednesday by Harris Interactive found that spending can be impacted by concern for the environment. While that has remained constant among many age groups, more young adults ages 18-to-24 say they are taking the environment into consideration when making purchases.

Among the research findings, 26% of adults said that environmental issues are either “extremely” or “very” important to them when deciding which products or services to purchase, a number that has remained consistent across gender, geography, education and income.

The results remain little changed over the years: 27% of U.S. adults said environmental issues were extremely/very important to their purchasing decisions in 2010 and 26% said the same in 2009.

The story is quite different, however, among the youngest of U.S. adults. Nearly a third (31%) of 18-24 year-olds claim to take environmental issues into consideration when making purchases, a number which has steadily risen from 24% in 2010 and 22% in 2009.

Americans also continue to show a preference for products and services that are 'green', with 79% seeking out green products, slightly up from 78% in 2010 and 76% in 2009. But what has rebounded to 2009 levels is that 31% of U.S. adults say they are willing to pay extra for a green product, up from 28% in 2010, and back to the 32% who said the same in 2009.

Again, however, 18-24 year old U.S. adults show a striking change: 35% say they are willing to pay extra for a green product, a sharp rise from 27% in 2010 and 25% in 2009. And, although just 4% of all U.S. adults seek out green products and services regardless of the cost (virtually unchanged from 3% in 2010 and 2009), the 18-24 year old age group is at a remarkable 11%, far above the 3% of 18-24 year-olds who said the same in 2010 and 2009. At the same time though, even half of this youngest age group (51%) say they are not willing to pay extra for green products.
 

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