Studies have revealed that positive attitudes towards the environment have not necessarily translated into green consumption practices, despite consumers’ growing concern for the environment. This leads one to question consumers’ motives. Why do environmentally-conscious consumers choose less green options? The purpose of our study was to explore the attitude-behaviour gap. The key research question was: how do consumers justify their non-green consumption practices? Seven focus groups were conducted with consumers ranging in ages from 19-70. Six of the focus groups were two hours long, the seventh focus group was ninety minutes long. Advertisements were placed in the local newspaper, and participants were screened on the basis of purchase behaviour and attitudes towards the environment. Our findings revealed that one of the biggest barriers to being green is the perception that it is too hard to be green; “green” being an action, e.g., buying green products and/or participating in green activities. The theory of neutralisation was used to explain how people justify their norm-violating behaviours, i.e., “non-green behaviour”, based on the assumption that one is ethically obliged to protect the environment. Three key neutralisation techniques appeared in our findings: denial of responsibility, denial of injury (or benefit), and appeal to higher loyalties.
|Title of host publication||ANZMAC 2011|
|Subtitle of host publication||conference proceedings : Marketing in the age of consumerism : Jekyll or Hyde?|
|Place of Publication||Perth|
|Number of pages||1|
|Publication status||Published - 2011|
|Event||Australian and New Zealand Marketing Academy Conference (2011) - Perth|
Duration: 28 Nov 2011 → 30 Nov 2011
|Conference||Australian and New Zealand Marketing Academy Conference (2011)|
|Period||28/11/11 → 30/11/11|
- green consumption behaviour
- green perceptions
Johnstone, M-L., & Tan, L. (2011). It’s too hard to be ‘green’: the theory of neutralisation. In ANZMAC 2011: conference proceedings : Marketing in the age of consumerism : Jekyll or Hyde? Perth: ANZMAC2011 Conference.