Consumers will only embrace sustainable solutions that make sense for them based on their specific needs, experiences, and preferences. The litmus test for determining an acceptable eco-solution is that they are practical, inexpensive and transparent.
By running afoul of the FTC, Kmart exposed itself to a double PR hit -- offending the government, as well as consumers -- a lesson for all marketing and communications practitioners.
Next time you unleash a new product -- one that glimmers with eco-friendliness and sustainability -- on the market, ask yourself, "Can the consumer who doesn't unplug appliances before vacations, who throws out moldy plastic containers instead of washing them and who uses paper towels like they're going out of style fit this into his/her lazy green lifestyle?"
Lessons of simplicity, value and doing good for the community always have a place in environmental programs and even more so now with the post-recession consumer.