University of Texas at Austin, US
Green falls under a larger category of consumer orientations that are often referred to as “sustainable consumption.” This can be defined as “the use of services and related products which respond to basic needs and bring a better quality of life while minimizing the use of natural resources and toxic materials, as well as emissions of waste and pollutants over the life cycle of the service or product so as not to jeopardize the needs of future generations” (Norwegian Ministry of the Environment 1994). In green consumption scholarship, the term remains inexactly defined and is often criticized for a lack of clarity, precision, and consistency. For example, fair trade products are generally thought of in terms of their social responsibility factors, but the standards governing fair trade also incorporate issues of environmental stewardship and protection.
Green consumption assumes multiple forms and encompasses a variety of consumer practices, including fair trade purchasing, community-supported agriculture, and consumer localism. It can be informed by a number of motivations, simultaneously individual and private as well as community oriented and public. Green consumption is often used interchangeably with other terms, including responsible consumption, ecologically concerned consumption, socially responsible consumption, ethical consumption, and political consumption.
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