Sustainability: a health care issue?

Shelton group logo Suzanne Shelton of the Shelton Group writes about how the environment is a health issue too.  She cites a study which shows that 62% of people think green homes are healthier and 40% said they would buy natural or organic foods if the products would 'limit exposure to things that can harm your health.' 

Posted Nov. 3, 2009
By Suzanne Shelton, Shelton Group

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.

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