"How much does the sustainability of a product matter to you when making purchase decisions?"
The views expressed by third-parties in this do not necessarily reflect the opinions of POET. Instead, they aim to offer readers a glimpse into how different areas of the country view issues important to the industry and to agriculture.
MIKE LOSEE, 52, DIRECTOR OF ACCOUNT DEVELOPMENT, LINCOLN, NEB.
“I have started to look for more sustainable options in the products I buy. If it is competitively priced and performs just as well, I prefer a sustainable product. The challenge is sifting through exaggerated claims and cluttered messages to determine what is genuine and what is hype.”
RALPH JENNINGS, 48, ENGLISH TEACHER, TAIPEI, TAIWAN
“Your question is an interesting one for much of Asia because for any given product you can find a range of prices, all correlated to quality (though a lot of consumers don’t know that and fancy they’re getting a bargain at the cheap end). Compared to the U.S., Asia lacks effective product standards such as uniform building codes, and in areas such as electronics, cheap ‘white box’ brands have a bigger piece of the market because of the number of lower-income/aspiring middle-class consumers. You usually get what you pay for, however.”
BRIAN CARVALHO, 47, MANAGER PHYSICAL SECURITY SYSTEMS TECHNOLOGY, IONE, CA
“The short answer is yes, where I am able to do so in a realistic and cost-effective manner. In purchasing paper products, for example, I look to the manufacturer label and product description to gauge its sustainability. The more recyclable the materials are and whether the product is manufactured with the least adverse impact on the environment, the better.”
MICHAEL KILLINGBECK, 47, SHOP FOREMAN, REDDING, CALIF.
“If I have a choice, I will choose a sustainable product, as long as it’s economical too. I want to leave a planet that is not a trash heap. I can’t justify spending two to four times as much for the same product.”
NICOLE FOX JARVIS, 45, OWNER OF A CONCRETE BUSINESS, SHERIDAN, WYO.
“I believe when most people think about product sustainability, the environment is the first term that comes to mind. But when I think of product sustainability, it encompasses so much more. As a business owner, and a consumer, I truly think about the ‘whole’ of a product’s environmental, economic and social impact and how that relates to my purchase. With those factors in mind, sustainability of a product is at the top of my mind when making a purchase. It is no longer a trend, but a social responsibility.”
JOHN KIENY, 55, VICE PRESIDENT OF SALES FOR IT/BUSINESS PROCESS OUTSOURCING SERVICES, FREMONT, NEB.
“In today’s world sustainability as a driver of purchase decisions has some influence on me but does not drive my purchasing behavior. I nearly always purchase ethanol-based fuel more from an economic benefits to the farmers in my state/regions and a little bit in my pocket. I recently purchased a vehicle with an aluminum body, and I considered environmental factors in that decision of aluminum versus steel and manufacturing process associated with it.”
NANCIE KAY SHUMAN, MA, 53, EXECUTIVE LIFE COACH, LOS ANGELES
“If I were creating a rating scale of 1 - 5, I would say that it is a 3. I take into consideration things such as where the product was manufactured and grown, packaging, and do I need new or can I find it secondhand. Also, I take into account durability. If it is something which will need to be replaced frequently, chances are I will go without until a more durable option is available. It is always a consideration with major purchases such as cars and appliances.”
MANDY NESHEIM, 33, MOM AND MASTER’S DEGREE STUDENT, LINCOLN, NEB.
“It is something I consider, along with price, convenience and quality. For example, we use cloth diapers for our kids, which are more sustainable than disposable diapers and save money in the long-term. But we also use disposables on occasion for the convenience. We began gardening and bought a share in a Community Supported Agriculture program for a steady supply of sustainable, locally grown produce. Cost and quality were top considerations, with sustainability an added benefit.”