Consumers struggle to keep up eco-friendly trends during the pandemic crisisJune 9, 2020
The desire to maintain green changes remains, so many people are making new conscious choices.
Consumers are struggling to keep up with eco-friendly trends in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. Recommended lifestyle changes for slowing the spread of the coronavirus have forced many businesses and individuals to abandon many of the basic zero waste choices that were only just starting to take off.
While CO2 emissions are way down, experts warn that those advantages won’t last.
A climate change study published in the Nature journal in May recorded a 17 percent reduction in daily CO2 emissions when compared to the same time in 2019. That said, while this has provided many urban areas with the cleanest air they’ve enjoyed in decades, experts are cautioning against the temptation to interpret a few weeks of reduced driving and industrial emissions as a victory in the battle against climate change, said a CBC report.
While emissions are temporarily reduced, waste levels are seeing a notable spike as consumers struggle to be able to maintain compliance with the eco-friendly trends that were just taking off before the pandemic hit.
“It’s not that easy being green.” Crystal Noble, owner and founder of Noble Naturals skin care company quoted the immortal words sung by Kermit the frog while discussing the struggle she and her customers are facing in the current pandemic ecosystem. “Those words feel truer now than ever,” she added.
Eco-friendly trends against single use plastics and toward reusable bags and cups have been widely abandoned.
Still, even as consumers are forced to leave their cloth bags and reusable produce bags and coffee cups at home, many small businesses are doing what they can to reduce their carbon footprint and, as a result, that of their customers.
“Our mission to be green means the world to us (literally) which is why we opt for muscle power, not machine power, to hand craft our natural skincare products,” explained Noble. “Every item is hand mixed, poured, bottled, and labeled which helps to reduce emissions and control quality (which in turn reduces waste). We are committed to using recyclable packaging for our products and will never double-package our products in an effort to further reduce our environmental impact.”
These more subtle changes are features standing out to consumers now more than ever. Forced to use disposable plastic bags again in-store, many shoppers are becoming highly selective of the products they choose. The difference made by avoiding a double packaging (a plastic shrink-wrapped bottle or a container within a blister package, for instance) now has greater meaning to consumers whose choices for reducing waste have been restricted.
In this time when “it’s not that easy being green,” eco-friendly trends have shifted and companies pivoting to respond to that consumer need are finding themselves in a powerful position. “We are loving this movement of conscious consumerism and eco mindset that is taking the forefront in so many customers daily lives,” said Noble, whose company has aligned with this position since its inception. “Consumers hold so much buying power to shift the market. Supporting small businesses that share their same eco friendly views is a great way to propel the movement forward.”