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Gadget buyers not giving in to green guilt

A recent study finds that most consumers aren't swayed by how environmentally friendly a gadget is. Price tends to trump the green factor in buying decisions.

Most gadget consumers are still nonchalant when it comes to buying and being green, a study finds. Retrevo

It seems all the talk of a product's environmental friendliness is falling on deaf ears for many gadget buyers, at least according to one new study.

According to the Gadgetology Report released Thursday by Retrevo, 42 percent of consumers don't care if the gadget they buy is green or not. And when asked if they felt guilty for not buying environmentally friendly gadgets, nearly 60 percent of respondents answered no. Sixteen percent of the respondents indicated that for them, price would trump the green factor in their buying decisions.

However, the report also shows that nearly 40 percent of consumers do consider green when shopping for gadgets, even if they don't end up buying green for one reason or another, according to the report.

It's interesting that despite the relatively weak response to the green factor, most consumers are aware of the environmental benefits. Eighty percent of the respondents said they know about and trust the Energy Star ratings. However, only 36 percent of young consumers (under 25) actually use energy ratings to help decide what to buy compared to 55 percent of those over 25.

Being green also means knowing how to dispose of gadgets properly. When asked what would make them be more green in this regard, 50 percent of the respondents favored cash incentives while the other 50 percent wanted gadgets to be more easily recyclable.

More than 60 percent of consumers claim they know how to be green, though more than half of those consumers said they didn't always put that knowledge into practice, the study found. About 18 percent of those surveyed showed apathy and ignorance toward green gadgets, while more than 20 percent said they were interested in learning how to be green.

The Retrevo Gadgetology Report is an ongoing study of people and electronics from the consumer electronics shopping and review site The data for this report came from a study of online individuals conducted in February 2010 by an independent panel. The sample size was just over 1,000 distributed across gender, age, income, and location in the United States.