Consumer behavior has significant environmental impacts, and consumers need help from third parties to recognize better choices. The newer approach seeks to change the expenditure mix to encourage a shift to immaterial goods and services, to intensify use within combined product-service systems, and to make greener products available. Eco-labels, such the Energy Star designation for energy-efficient appliances, can help guide choices for buying a product. Resources like goodguide.com assign ratings instead of labels to products, and their smartphone apps let consumers access the information while they shop. Consumer behavior has significant environmental impacts, and consumers need help from third parties to recognize better choices. Consumers can only improve overall outcomes in concert with proactive producers and an encouraging and informative government. Unintended consequences diminish, but do not extinguish, the effects of sustainable consumption.
Empowering Sustainable Consumption
Andrews C.J. “Empowering Sustainable Consumption”. IEEE Technology and Society Magazine. (2013). http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?arnumber=6612704