Green Interests Growing

Black attitudes reflect increasing concern for the environment

Blacks are going “green,” or making more sustain-able decisions that benefit not only their lives but the lives of generations to come. In a recent report on sustainability by The Hartman Group, a market research firm in Bellevue, Washington, blacks are more likely than whites to “feel personally affected by global warming/climate change” and to believe that “humans have made the environment worse today than it was 20 years ago.”

Former Vice President Al Gore warned the world in his movie, An Inconvenient Truth, to take better care of our planet or die with it. The report suggests that, in many ways, blacks have heeded that warning, says Carol Moseley Braun, former U.S. senator from Illinois and founder of Ambassador Organics, purveyor of premium organic products. “Blacks have actually been green interested for some time,” says Moseley Braun. “African Americans have contributed to making the world a better place over time and in spite of oppression and racism. What is new is that someone has asked the question.”

According to Brent Baxter, a co-author of the report, “Blacks are also more likely to scrutinize products for many characteristics of sustainability; for example, they are more likely than whites to feel it’s important to buy meat and poultry that has been raised without routine use of antibiotics.”

Blacks are also willing to pay more for sustainable foods and more likely to own water-saving devices (55% vs. 40%), further entrenching themselves in green
issues, says Baxter.

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