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RetailMeNot Shoppers Trend Report Reveals That Higher Costs of Eco-Friendly Products Turn Off Consumers from "Being Green" Partnership Will Plant Up to 5,000 Trees

AUSTIN, Texas, April 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- It's gotten a lot harder to be "green." (, the largest online coupon site in the United States, revealed today in this Earth Day–inspired edition of the Shoppers Trend Report that while 46% of respondents are more inclined to buy a product if it is eco-friendly, the majority of respondents (59%) are unwilling to pay more money for that eco-friendly product or service. This Shoppers Trend Report includes data from a survey jointly conducted with Ipsos Public Affairs (


Additionally, RetailMeNot announced it was working with, a leading carbon offsetting not-for-profit, to identify the top green cities where consumers can shop in the United States. Some of these cities include markets like Austin, TX (our hometown!), San Francisco, CA and St. Paul, MN. The cities were tiered according to a number of factors, including renewable electricity usage, air quality, public transportation options and other energy-efficiency standards.

As a part of the partnership, RetailMeNot will work to help reduce the carbon footprint caused by shopping by planting one tree for every click  (up to 5,000 trees) on its eco-shopping coupon page.

Just click on to help plant up to 5,000 trees!

The RetailMeNot–Ipsos survey found:

The current state of eco-friendly shopping

  • A majority of respondents (71%) feel that they are aware of the positive and/or adverse environmental impact of products they purchase every day. Still, more than four in 10 respondents (43%) report that when they actually make purchases, they do not think about the impact that those products have on the environment.
  • Fortunately for Mother Nature, 60% of respondents report that they sometimes proactively take steps to "green" their home or lifestyle, such as by recycling, driving energy-efficient vehicles, weatherizing their home, using eco-friendly products, etc. Just 25% of respondents say they always take steps to "green" their home or lifestyle, while 15% of respondents say they never do.
  • Nearly half of the respondents (46%) say they are more inclined to buy a product if it is eco-friendly, however a majority of respondents (59%) said they would be unwilling to pay a higher price for an eco-friendly product or service over one that is not eco-friendly.
  • More than a third of respondents (34%) say that it makes no difference to them if a product is eco-friendly.

What drives eco-friendly purchases?

  • When it comes to purchasing habits, 40% of respondents say they buy green, eco-friendly products when they are readily available and there is no big cost difference versus non-eco-friendly equivalents. Yet a majority of respondents (51%) report that they buy whichever products suit their needs at the time, "green" or not.
  • Retailer support for environmental charities does not appear to be a significant driver of purchases. Only 15% of respondents said support for environmental charities would lead them to be more likely to shop with a retailer vs. 39% of respondents who said "maybe" and 24% who said no, it was not something that would influence where they shop.
  • Nearly a quarter of respondents (24%) said that they don't care about what charities or causes a business supports, so it wouldn't have an impact on where they shop.
  • It appears that 18 to 34-year-old respondents are more swayed by "green" cause marketing (23% vs. only 11% of 35 to 54 year olds). Also, non-white respondents were more likely to say they would be persuaded to buy based on retailer support for a "green" charity (24% vs. 14% of white respondents).

Who is shopping "green" the most?

  • Men vs. Women: Women are more likely than men to buy green products if it is convenient and the price point is right (45% vs. 36%). 
  • Other leaders in being "green": Additionally, college graduates (55%), Northeasterners (54%), adults under 35 (53%) and households with children (50%) are more inclined to buy environmentally- friendly products and to pay more for them.

The "greenest" cities to shop in the United States

When you combine driving to malls and shopping plazas with the billions of coupons and shopping circulars printed every year, plus the increase in retail waste (packaging and other trash), the act of shopping can take a considerable toll on the environment. To celebrate Earth Day, RetailMeNot has partnered with the Foundation to determine the greenest cities to shop in the United States. looked at cities with populations of 250,000 or higher and tiered the data for these cities' renewable energy-sourced electricity usage, air quality, public transportation options and efficiency, and Energy Star-certified buildings using data from various U.S. governmental agencies (Census Bureau, Department of Transportation, Department of Energy, the EPA and Energy Star program).

The 25 "Greenest" Large Cities to Shop (in alphabetical order):

Austin, TX

Denver, CO

Minneapolis, MN

Pittsburgh, PA

San Jose, CA

Boston, MA

Honolulu, HI

New York City, NY

Portland, OR

Seattle, WA

Charlotte, NC

Houston, TX

Oakland, CA

Sacramento, CA

St. Louis, MO

Chicago, IL

Los Angeles, CA

Philadelphia, PA

San Diego, CA

St. Paul, MN

Dallas, TX

Milwaukee, WI

Phoenix, AZ

San Francisco, CA

Washington, D.C.

Shop Green and Save

To help offset the shopping carbon footprint, invites consumers to visit our Earth Day page ( for discounts on eco-friendly products and tips for living "green" on a budget.

In honor of Earth Day, RetailMeNot will work with to plant one tree for every click (up to 5,000 trees) on its Earth Day deals page.

RetailMeNot Resources

A review of RetailMeNot's data for March 2012 also showed that:

  • Average reported savings for consumers using RetailMeNot in the month of March 2012 was nearly $21 per transaction, up by 3.9% over the same period for the prior year.
  • A review of March 2012 Performance Data on found that:
    • The three most active coupon-seeking states (in terms of the percentage of Internet users within that state who visited were Massachusetts, New York and New Jersey.
    • The three states with the least amount of activity (in terms of the percentage of Internet users within that state who visited were Arkansas, South Dakota and Oklahoma.

For eco-friendly product insights and tips for living "green" on a budget, read the following articles from RetailMeNot's online magazine, The RetailMeNot Real Deal:

Methodology for Ipsos Survey

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted April 4-6, 2012.  For the survey, national samples of 1,016 adults aged 18 and older from Ipsos' U.S. online panel were interviewed online. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics and ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the U.S. adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. A survey with an unweighted probability sample of 1,016 and a 100% response rate would have an estimated margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

About ( is the leading consumer destination for collaborative online coupon, deal and promotional code hunting and sharing. Our mission is to help consumers save money and enjoy a hassle-free discount shopping experience. Since November 2006, our users have shared hundreds of thousands of deals and offers from retailers from across the globe. Online coupons are rated and ranked by users, ensuring that quality deals rise to the top and expired coupons drop down the list. is operated by WhaleShark Media, Inc., the world's leading marketplace for online coupons and deals.

Make sure to "like" on Facebook, follow the company via Twitter @retailmenot and add us on Google+.

About WhaleShark Media, Inc.

WhaleShark Media, Inc. ( is the world's leading marketplace for online coupons and deals. The company's websites enable consumers seeking to save money to find hundreds of thousands of offers from retailers across the globe. WhaleShark Media experiences more than 400 million consumer visits to its sites every year. The WhaleShark Media portfolio of coupon and deal websites includes, the largest online coupon site in the United States;, the largest online coupon site in Europe;;; and WhaleShark Media is a fast-growing, profitable company funded by venture capital firms Austin Ventures, Norwest Venture Partners, Adams Street Partners, Google Ventures, J.P. Morgan Asset Management and Institutional Venture Partners (IVP).

Be sure to "like" WhaleShark Media on Facebook and follow the company via Twitter @WhaleSharkPR

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RetailMeNot PR Department
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