Sunday, November 29, 2009
Gearing up for the Holidays with GoodGuide
Yesterday, during my usual moseying around political and environmental blogs, I came across the Good Guide. I feel that I may have written about or mentioned this before, especially in my piece about Daniel Goleman's Ecological Intelligence. Nevertheless, as the holiday season approaches and purchases go up, I think it is a good time to start thinking more wisely about our consumer choices.
GoodGuide provides a comprehensive assessment of the environmental, health, and social impacts of the products you buy, whether they be food, health & beauty items, toys, cleaners, or anything else. It is designed to be used as a phone application--any item with a bar code can be scanned and the ratings will immediately register. However, you can use it as a go-to website as well for when you create your holiday shopping list.
The site has a wealth of valuable information; however, as it is still growing, it faces some notable limitations. Many of the entries seem to be missing information, which will lead to a lower rating. Moreover, being a personal opponent of chemically derived sugar substitutes (e.g. sucralose, aspartame, etc.), I have issues with their nutrition grading.
Nevertheless, I think the site is definitely worth a browse or a more frequent visit. You can look at their methodology if you are curious about what factors go into the ratings; Good Guide does not shy away from important issues, from labor issues (how much a company pays its employees/the benefits they offer, child labor history, working conditions), history of ethical violations, philanthropic activities, quality and safety controls, energy use, pollution (water, land, air), and just about anything you would be curious to find out.
If you like it a lot, you can even apply (they are hiring), and they are looking for a User and Community Ninja. Pretty cool, huh?
The logo above was taken from GoodGuide's website, linked above.