Study: Holiday Shopping Habits Become Greener

Consumers are increasingly putting plastic shopping bags and nongreen wrapping items on their naughty list, according to Deloitte’s 2008 Annual Holiday Survey.

Nearly half of the 13,000 consumers polled said they’d be willing to pay more for green gifts. This was up from 17 percent last year.

“A significant number of people are willing to pay more for green gifts or supplies, which tells us that this issue is on shoppers’ minds and is becoming more central to consumers’ purchasing decisions,” said Stacy Janiak, Deloitte’s U.S. retail leader.

They are also more likely to be carrying these gifts home in a nonplastic shopping bag. Thirty-eight percent of those polled said they will use fewer bags this year compared to 27 percent last year.

Also, a significant number of people will not be buying as much wrapping paper. Nearly a quarter (21 percent) of respondents said they are considering not wrapping presents to preserve paper. Twenty percent said they will purchase more eco-friendly gifts this year. And, 14 percent are expecting to buy more organic products.

Consumers also will factor in where they shop. Eighteen percent of people surveyed said they will shop at green retailers than they did in the past.

“Savvy retailers are taking concrete steps to become more environmentally friendly, and are incorporating this sensibility into their operations, as well as their customer communications,” said Janiak. “At the same time, they should be cautious about promoting their eco-initiatives too early, before they’ve made real progress, due to the potential for consumer backlash.”