Consumer awareness, practices and purchasing behavior towards green consumerism in Kenya

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Duke Omayio Gekonge
Abong George
Elmah Odhiambo Geoffrey
Marion Villacampa


Consumption; production; consumer; sustainable; environment


Sustainable consumption and production are related to maximizing natural resource use while minimizing waste generation to reduce the environment's negative impacts. There has been limited research on consumer approaches to Kenya's environmental concerns, and their consumption behaviours remain unknown. This study sought to assess the Kenyan consumers' knowledge of green products, their sustainable practices (SCP), and eco-labels influence on their purchasing decisions. A semi-structured questionnaire was administered to 205 participants randomly selected in five constituencies within Nairobi County. The consumer's educational level significantly (p<0.01) correlated with the knowledge of sustainable consumption and production (39%) as compared to 61% who are not aware of SCP practices. However, SCP knowledge was not significantly different (p=0.76) among the male and female respondents. The prices (86.3%) and product quality (79.5%) were the most considered during purchase than only 40% of the consumers who preferred environmentally friendly products during purchase. Even though only 27% agreed that eco-labelling plays a key role when purchasing products, most (70%) of the respondents would buy green products if green credentials were emphasized. The respondents' trust levels on eco-labels were not significantly different among male and female respondents (c2 = 5.89, p=0.47) and regardless of the educational levels (c2 = 5.51, p=0.99), However, the high costs (69.8%), lack of adequate information (44.4%), and unavailability (39.5%) were the primary constraints to buying green products. While environmental activists were found to be the most important (66.1%) sources of information, increased awareness (98%), environmental education (90.7%), and provision of monetary incentives (78%) would help promote sustainable consumption and production. In conclusion, there is a need for creating more awareness on the consumption and production of green horticultural food products to sensitize the public on sustainable environmental practices among Kenyan consumers to promote green consumerism.

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