This Word Makes You Enjoy Purchases More

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Do you ever feel like the consumer goods you interact with every day are lacking just a bit of spark? Do you harbor the tiniest sliver of regret about something you've recently bought? There's a one-word solution for that, and it's hiding in plain sight, smack dab in the middle of the rainbow.

Marketing researchers at Canada's Concordia University have just released a paper on something called the "greenconsumption effect." If it sounds buzzword-y, you're not wrong: It's the study of "how using a green product creates a 'warm glow' feeling in users." What's interesting isn't necessarily that it exists; it's that it's so widely and generously applicable.

"Going green" is, at its center, prosocial behavior, meant to help oneself and the entire community around you. When consumers see a product with a "green" label attached, it not only makes them feel better about buying that product, but they tend to enjoy it more, in surprisingly abstract ways. In one part of the Concordia study, participants said they liked musical tracks more when listening on green-manufactured headphones. Using a green-labelled product with a reputation (unjust or otherwise) for not being quite as good, like laundry detergent, also convinced consumers that the green product was better and more efficient.

On the flip side, it's worth remembering that green, like "organic," has no regulatory heft behind it — it really can mean anything. It's also important, if you're buying with the environment in mind, to really prioritize sustainability itself. Shop for what sparks joy, but don't let shopping be the whole story.