Technology and Its Impact on Sustainable Consumer Behavior
Written by Anisha Kundu
Researched by Eunso Im
Technology has given people access to an unlimited supply of information that is constantly being updated, intelligent solutions to help us live more comfortable lives, and a platform where anyone can reach millions with the click of a button.
As news coverage of climate change has increased, more consumers have realized that they can also contribute to the future betterment of the planet. Through learning about the importance of saving the environment with technology, they also use technology such as social media to share how to do their part, especially with deciding what brands they should put their money in and what sustainable practices to incorporate into their lives.
However, this is still not enough. If current trends in consumer behavior continue, 2.5 planets in resources will be needed by 2050 to support the human population.
Besides holding the supply side of the industry accountable and urging them to use efficient energy sources, it is also important to transform consumer behavior. Many believe that it is not possible at this point to create a sustainable economy, but it is within reach if businesses are willing to use technology for engagement and transparency.
Many technological developments have driven consumer behavior in a more sustainable direction. For example, smarter houses have allowed people to reduce energy consumption and save more money. They allow people to monitor their water, electricity, and gas consumption and manage them accordingly.
Many mobile apps have also provided users with sustainable options. Too Good To Go is an app that allows people to purchase unsold food that would have been thrown away by restaurants and supermarkets. This allows consumers to get great food at great prices while also reducing food waste and carbon dioxide emissions.
As mentioned earlier, social media and peer pressure have encouraged more sustainable behavior. While these may be detrimental in some contexts, if used for goof, it can encourage both consumers and businesses to adopt sustainable practices. Social media creates the platform to reach a greater audience through hashtags and campaigns that motivate users to participate in a good cause like recycling or beach clean-ups.
Furthermore, programs such as the Leaping Bunny Program, have worked with companies to have more sustainable practices by standardizing a criteria for being “cruelty-free”. Often, definitions are made to fit the company, so even if they use animal testing, they may still use the phrase, “cruelty-free,” in advertising. Their standard ensures that both the finished product and each ingredient have not undergone animal testing.
Large corporations and businesses have the power to bring change, but making the issue of sustainability relevant to consumers is also key to a more sustainable future. Leveraging the power of technology can help everyone live as ethically and sustainably as possible.