Eco-friendly products and convenience is actually one the most central topics in consumer choice from my point of view. Sustainability as a problem is so multi-faceted and complicated that it isn’t easy to be a responsible customer. Even though you want to behave responsibly and make good choices, there’s always some structural block that hinders your effort. It can be the price, irresponsible supply chain, lack of recycling locations etc. In addition, we are also scared about the future in that sense that we have to give up our current convenient quality of life in order to be sustainable. Are we ready to make compromises or is it possible to keep our level of convenience and also be sustainable enough for a greener future? If we have to make compromises, where should we start and how far are we ready to go?
The Sustainability Purchase Perception matrix by Peattie reflects the problem very well. If the trade-off in convenience is too big between a sustainable and a normal product, the sustainable product is most likely going to fail in the market. But if the sustainable product makes you feel really confident and good about the purchase, it might have a chance for break through. For instance many biodegradable washing detergents fail because they can’t deliver the same performance as the traditional products. The same happens with green cars that lack in performance and convenience compared to a normal car. However, the situation is not static and the performance of green cars is getting better and better. In my point of view, masses will not change to more sustainable products if the trade-off for convenience is too great. Eco-friendly products that lack in convenience and are more costly might attract a smaller early adopters audience but won’t make enough impact on the bigger picture. Thus, it is crucial that even eco-friendly products deliver the same convenience as normal products. It is actually quite interesting to notice that it’s much more easier for us to tell what other people should do and have, but we when the finger points at us, we are not ready to give away our quality of life to improve the overall situation. The worst part is that we don’t even realize how amazing convenience we are experiencing at the moment.