Economical or Environmental?

A Feb. 10 Associated Press article ("Economic crisis spurs personal finance classes") discusses how the soaring credit card debt is spurring state education officials to consider requiring students to take personal finance classes. In the article, an official with JumpStart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy states that there is a silver lining to the current economic climate: more emphasis will be placed on personal financial education -- leading to future generations of fiscally responsible consumers.

Along with thinking about how spending impacts their wallets, consumers also are considering the effects their purchases will have on the environment. While people are learning that conserving energy and water can save money and resources, many consumers are buying green products and services -- even when they cost more than others on the market.

A new study ( commissioned by Green Seal and EnviroMedia Social Marketing and conducted by Opinion Research Corporation found that half of the 1,000 people surveyed say they are buying just as many green products now as before the economic downturn, while 19 percent say they are buying more green products.

However, the survey found that more education on green claims is needed:

• About one in three consumers say they don’t know how to tell if green product claims are true.

• One in 10 consumers blindly trusts green product claims.

We have a long way to go before we are more fiscally and environmentally responsible consumers. Will we become more conscious of our spending habits? I don't know, but, I'd like to think that we can learn our lessons and pass better habits to the next generation.

Posted by Angela Nelson on Feb 17, 2009

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