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Warning over ‘eco friendly’ products: ‘You can’t kiss and make up’

Yahoo! News UK logo Yahoo! News UK 05/03/2019 Rob Waugh
a blurry photo of a tree © Provided by Oath Inc.

Many of us think we’re ‘doing our bit’ for the environment by cycling to work or choosing ‘eco’ detergent – but that way of thinking harms our planet, experts have warned.

Two psychologists from the University of Gävle in Sweden say that many modern consumers still appear to be ‘bargaining’ with the environment, in a prehistoric way.

In an article in Frontiers in Psychology, Patrik Sörqvist, and Linda Langeborg say that many consumers appear to believe that they can ‘offset’ bad habits such as long-haul flights by doing something ‘good’.

a blurry photo of a tree: Warning over ‘eco friendly’ products: ‘You can’t kiss and make up’ Warning over ‘eco friendly’ products: ‘You can’t kiss and make up’

But this way of thinking is a Stone Age relic – and doesn’t work with climate change, Cosmosreported.

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Sörqvist says, ‘When applied to climate change, this social give-and-take thinking leads to the misconception that ‘green’ choices can compensate for unsustainable ones.’

For instance, it leads people to think that buying ‘eco friendly’ products makes it OK to shop, whereas, as Sörqvist says, ‘ the best thing for the environment would of course be for us to consume less overall.’

He says, ‘you can’t kiss and make up with the environment,’ and warns that people, ‘think that they can justify jetting abroad for vacation because they have been cycling to work; or take longer showers because they’ve reduced the water temperature.’

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