How's that for a word chain? Anyway, here's "Green is the new luxury" from this Sunday's Boston Globe:
Protecting the environment is seen as a liberal cause, but new research suggests that it may be just as much a "limousine liberal" cause. Researchers were tipped off by surveys showing that people bought the Toyota Prius primarily because it made a personal statement, not because of environmental conservation. This led the researchers to theorize that so-called green products allow people to signal not only their altruism but their ability to afford altruism. In other words, green products are now status symbols. In several experiments, people who first read a short story that primed thoughts about status competition were then more likely to prefer a green product. However, when status was taken out of the equation - by telling people that they'd be shopping in private or that the green product was cheaper - people were actually somewhat less likely to prefer the green product. These findings imply that marketers should sell green products as a form of luxury, rather than as a form of charity.But then that would mean all those Hollywood greens are phonies. Say it ain't so!
Griskevicius, V. et al., "Going Green to Be Seen: Status, Reputation, and Conspicuous Conservation," University of Minnesota (March 2009).