The world is attempting to become more sustainable while at the same time enhance economic and social wellbeing. Part of this movement is the support of consumer interest in small local farms. Through a contingent valuation we see that Virginia consumers are willing to pay an average premium of about 20% for in-state produce and animal products. Results show that 58% of Virginia consumers are willing to purchase in-state produce and 59% are willing to purchase in-state animal products at the 20% premium. Consumers are willing to pay more for local goods depending on certain demographics and personal preferences. Premiums for local products are subjective to gender, age, income, residential location, certain perceptions of local products, and other important factors. Our findings from analyzing these variables show that farming locally can be beneficial for the consumers, producers, local economy, and the environment.
Global climate change is quite possibly the most serious challenge that faces us today. Consumers and businesses alike are thinking more seriously about their environmental impact and what they can do to reduce their carbon footprint. One industry uniquely tied to the environment and concerned with its well-being is the ski industry and one way to achieve this reduction is through carbon offsets. Using data collected through a contingent valuation study regarding consumer behavior, this thesis analyzes the factors that affect consumers' willingness to pay (WTP) for carbon offsets in the ski industry. The study finds that age, gender, and climate knowledge are highly influential on WTP, and that the use of tax credits as an incentive provides the greatest increase in consumer WTP.