Remember how buying eco-friendly brands and saving the planet made green the biggest marketing trend of the 2000s? Well, brand managers, read this before wrapping your arms around that tree over there. Many consumers seem to have relegated green to the backseat of the Prius. Right now, they're more worried about their jobs. Witness the results of the latest report from the Green Confidence Index. The monthly pulse check conducted by environmental group Earthsense found that although a significant number of consumers support the pro-environmental stance taken by the Obama administration, an increasing proportion of those surveyed believe the president should "focus on the economy first" before trying to save the planet. Not that this should be a huge surprise; it's a little tougher to worry about global warming when the job market is frozen solid. The index saw evidence of consumers' shifting attitudes most clearly when it came to the federal Cash for Clunkers appliance rebate program, set to roll out in the coming months. Respondents said that while it's great that they might get a rebate for buying a more energy-efficient microwave or washer/drier, they're worried that such big-ticket purchases will add to their credit-card balance at a time when many family budgets are already under water. Water meaning debt, folks, not melting ice caps.
—Posted by Robert Klara