Presents an alternative approach to the study of ecologically friendly buying. The results of an empirical pilot study of 47 consumers are presented, showing that personal experience of ecology-related problems shapes consumers' understanding of the concept of "ecologically friendly buying" as well as their motives for engaging in this kind of behavior. Research in the field of environmental attitude studies have been focused on finding social determinants of environmental concern or on solving the problem of inconsistency between attitude and behavior. This article discusses the theoretical and methodological implications of the pilot study results in relation to environmental attitude research. It is suggested that an understanding of ecologically friendly buying can only be gained by describing the meaning that ecologically friendly buying has for the consumers.