Eco-briefs | Driving home your environmental self-image

Consumers over 60 buy hybrids partly to boost prestige.
Photo courtesy of Baylor University

Driving home your environmental self-image

Consumers age 60 and older purchase hybrid vehicles to boost self-esteem and image, as well as help the environment, according to a consumer study published in the journal Human Factors and Ergonomics in Manufacturing and Service Industries.

Researchers surveyed 314 hybrid car buyers over the age of 60 and found that their satisfaction with their purchase came from both economic and social values, including pride and prestige.

“This knowledge can help as a marketing tool,” Jay Yoo, an assistant professor of family and consumer sciences in Baylor’s College of Arts & Sciences, said in a press release.

“Hybrid cars have increased in visibility because of their environmental consciousness,” he said. “So people may be willing to pay an extra $5,000 or so in order to think, ‘I’m great, and this is good for the environment.’”

Lafayette earns solar-friendly accolade

Lafayette became the third Colorado community to become a “Gold Level Solar Friendly Community,” a distinction granted by the Colorado Solar Energy Industries Association. Lafayette joins Denver and Fort Collins as a gold-level community, earning 1,225 points out of a possible 1,600.

“We’re proud and honored to have the City of Lafayette’s efforts recognized through the Solar Friendly Community certification,” Curt Cheesman, director of recreation, senior services and facility management, said in a press release. “This assists us to get the word out that Lafayette supports, practices and encourages solar energy alternatives in our community.”

The points system is based on a set of steps cities can take to make it easier for individuals to launch solar projects.

Some steps include streamlining application processes, allowing digital submission of forms and applications, and issuing permits within a specific time frame.