Sustainability: a health care issue?

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Sustainability: a health care issue?

I was driving the other day and saw a bumper sticker that read, “The environment is a national security issue.”  I’ve seen this statement before…but something about it that moment struck me (perhaps because of the inescapable coverage on the national health care debate): could something similar be said about sustainability and health care?

Here’s the data:

– Our Green Living Pulse study revealed that 62% of the population thinks green homes are healthier (and nearly 50% of those folks said it’s because green homes are built with materials that emit fewer toxins)

– Nearly 40% said they’d be motivated to buy natural or organic foods by messaging that specifically referenced that the products would “limit exposure to things that can harm your health”

– 34% said they’d be motivated to buy natural skin care products by messaging that specifically referenced that the products would “deliver a better, healthier experience.”

– In our Eco Pulse study, 19% said the top reason to buy a green product was to be healthier/limit their families’ exposure to toxins and chemicals.

So, from a consumer perception standpoint, being green is often about being healthier.  If you apply the idea of sustainability to our food production in America, it’s easy to connect the dots between being green and being healthier:  last year we spent $147 billion to treat obesity, and, arguably, that cost could be linked to unsustainable food production practices and the mass production of unhealthy, cheap food.

So, depending on how you spin it, a green lifestyle could easily be teed up as a healthy lifestyle.  And that could be just what the doctor — and our Senators and Congressmen — ordered.

About the Author

Suzanne Shelton

Where Suzanne sees opportunity, you can bet results will follow. Drawing on her extensive knowledge of both the advertising world and the energy and environment arena, Suzanne provides unparalleled strategic insights to our clients and to audiences around North America. Suzanne is a guest columnist in multiple publications and websites, such as GreenBiz, and she speaks at around 20 conferences a year, including Sustainable Brands, Fortune Brainstorm E and Green Build.

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