To read this content please select one of the options below:

Living “light green”: the limits and lived experiences of green motherhood

Jana Nekesa Knibb (Department of Social Sciences, Community College of Rhode Island, Providence, Rhode Island, USA)
Kimberly Taylor (Department of Marketing, Florida International University, Miami, Florida, USA)

Qualitative Market Research

ISSN: 1352-2752

Article publication date: 12 June 2017




This paper aims to understand the meanings, motivations and practices of green motherhood and, in particular, how green mothers incorporate this lifestyle into their consumption practices.


To address the research questions, a survey and focus group were conducted. Survey responses and transcribed focus group statements comprise the data.


Several variables explain the adoption of green motherhood for one consumer segment. Results showed the mothers’ greater concern about their own family’s health and safety, and a desire to reduce risk and gain some control over their world, rather than concern about the environment at large, drives their choices.

Research limitations/implications

The paper identifies and explores the consumption and mothering practices of a segment of “light green” moms and uncovers their motivations. Limitations include relatively small sample sizes.


“Green mothers” are an important, emerging segment of green consumers, but they often face conflicting roles and expectations. The research adds to the literature on green consumerism by expanding the authors’ knowledge of the nuances and limitations of the green motherhood movement and delving deeper into the decision processes these mothers use. This information can help marketers seeking to target this segment with easy-to-use, convenient products which appeal to their concerns about controlling their environment and improving their family’s health.


Understanding green consumption practices can help marketers or governmental organizations reach consumers who are motivated to be “green”, which, in turn, can lead to an improved environment.


The identification of the “light green” consumer segment is novel, and the paper uses a unique mixed methods approach. Greater understanding of the meaning and limitations of green motherhood is obtained.



The authors would like to thank Jaclyn Tanenbaum and Tessa Garcia-Collart for their assistance and the focus group participants for their time and valuable contributions to the research.


Knibb, J.N. and Taylor, K. (2017), "Living “light green”: the limits and lived experiences of green motherhood", Qualitative Market Research, Vol. 20 No. 3, pp. 370-389.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles