Sometimes, I wonder if the things I buy or the places I shop are good for the environment, or if people are treated well in the process of bringing consumer goods to me.
I really like the idea of only giving my money to good companies who care for the earth and their fellow human beings. But it was only ever an idea — I simply didn’t have the resources or the time to find out if the things I bought and the companies I bought from were truly eco-friendly.
Then, last week, my Mother-in-law showed me an awesome website that ranks different companies and makes it easy for you to make informed decisions about where your money is going.
The website is called Good Guide (goodguide.com) and it is going to save me all sorts of time while allowing me to accomplish my idea.
Good Guide does all the research and comparisons for you. It has everything from makeup to cellphones to freezers to cat food.
They also have laundry detergent, although I hope to start making my own environmentally friendly (and incredibly cheap) detergent. But more on that in a future column.
Good Guide employs researchers and scientists to rank brands on a 0-10 scale based on three separate scores in the areas of health, environment and social responsibility.
You can also customize the website by picking issues you care about the most — things like nutrition, fair trade, climate change, energy efficiency and more, for a few examples. Then you can see how products measure up to things you care about most. You can also add a Good Guide toolbar to your browser that will show you a product’s ranking when you look at the product online.
If you are on the go and need to use Good Guide, you can download their app on your smart phone and scan bar codes while shopping to find out ratings on specific products.
Even if a product’s packaging says it’s eco-friendly or totally organic, you can use the smartphone app to be absolutely sure before buying it.
Good Guide looks like a great website that can really make differences in how people shop, what people buy and, perhaps most importantly, what people think about when they’re choosing what to buy.
If everyone shopped based on how environmentally friendly the products were, or how the people who made the products were treated, companies with bad practices would have to clean up their acts pretty quickly if they want to keep selling their products.