Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability (LOHAS) is a movement to bring green, sustainable commerce into the mainstream. And at the LOHAS 10 forum last month in Santa Monica, acknowledgment of a tipping point was in the air. Whole Foods-shopping, hybrid-driving, Energy Star appliance-buying consumers are reaching critical mass -38% of the adult population (Natural Marketing Institute’s 2005 LOHAS survey). Why? Well, shopping green feels good, but the real kicker seems to be that it’s getting cheaper and easier to do it. Savvy shoppers can cut their gas and energy bills and feel like they’re helping solve the world’s energy crisis. “Natural” and “organic” food doesn’t taste like cardboard anymore and consumers can feel good about stemming the tide of chemicals in their own bodies and the planet.
It might be disappointing to diehard greenies that eco-friendly alone wasn’t enough to sway the masses, but there’s good news. As former Patagonia CEO and current CEO of Revolution Living Michael Crooke admonished: “It’s not enough just to be eco-groovy. You’ve got to have great products and services that set a high bar.” And then green becomes a lush, value-added perk. Not such a bad beat to march to.