Friday, 13 July 2007

How concern for the planet is changing the way we shop

Energy-saving vs standard bulbs

It seems that shoppers are seeing energy-saving in a different light. According to figures released earlier this year by the market-research group GfK, sales of energy-saving light bulbs have increased by 58 per cent to £30m in the past year. Paul Mitchell, an account manager at GfK, says that "growth of halogen and fluorescent bulbs has been dwarfed by the appeal of energy-saving bulbs. The market has been driven by the switch from the old-style bulbs to energy-saving varieties, which allow consumers to save money on their bills and reduce their carbon footprint." Energy-efficient light bulbs can last up 12 times as long as traditional incandescent bulbs and only use a quarter of their energy. With the Government set to phase out incandescent bulbs by 2011 and Currys having announced that it is phasing out their sale, it seems that energy-saving bulbs have won this round.

Bicarb vs bleach

When How Clean is Your House? became a TV hit, Asda reported a double-digit sales rise of traditional cleaning products such as scouring powder, vinegar and lemon juice. Mintel reveals that 32 per cent of us now believe such methods work, and a quarter of adults choose products such as soap and borax rather than more damaging bleach-based cleaners.

Pegs vs dryers

One of this year's biggest green success stories isn't a new solar-powered gadget or a carbon-neutral car. It's the clothes peg, enjoying soaring sales thanks to a backlash against tumble dryers. Between January and April this year, Asda sold more than 1.2 million pegs – up 1,400 per cent on the same period the previous year. Sales of washing lines and rotary dryers are also up 147 per cent. People are realising that, while tumble dryers may be convenient, they are carbon criminals. According to the Energy Saving Trust, just one use of a tumble dryer generates 1.5kg of carbon dioxide, which is enough to fill 150 balloons. Households that use a tumble dryer every time they put a wash on emit about 140kg of extra carbon dioxide a year, and the electricity used to power them could cost more than £70. According to eco-auditor Donnachadh McCarthy, "nobody has a real need for tumble dryers", which helps to explain why clothes pegs are selling so well.

full article

1 comment:

Amit said...

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