Ethical consumerism: it's the holy grail for responsible shopping. And most folks agree that we ought to do more to make sure that the products we put in our baskets come from fair, safe, sustainable, and humane means.
The truth is, though, that most of us fall into one of two categories: those who cannot be bothered to make the change (fair trade items are too expensive, I think it's all a con anyway, I don't know where to buy 'em, I'm just one person, I won't make a difference), and those with good intentions who still get it wrong.
You see, many of the products we find on our supermarket shelves and in fashion outlets have hidden and sometimes disturbing stories - cheap, stylish apparel made in Asian sweatshops, or baby care products containing cancer-causing chemicals.
So even when we think we're making savvy choices, the reality is that we know very little about the products we bring into our homes every day. Vital information is either unavailable, too complex to understand, or biased, as marketers make unsubstantiated claims that their products are natural or safe.
If only we could separate all the marketing chaff from the real, honest facts, so we could make properly informed decisions.
That's where GoodGuide comes in. This clever app is the ultimate tool for the modern social and eco-warrior, helping you to identify the greenest, safest, healthiest, and most socially responsible products based on scientific ratings. You scan an item's barcode or browse through the catalogue of over 250,000 products organized into categories, including food, hair care, household items, and products for kids and babies. It's easy-peasy!
2. Tap on Search to manually look up a product in the database (e.g. Dove White Soap Bar). You can apply filters for brands, traits (like environmental awards), and ingredients to exclude.
3. Tap on Scan a UPC code to scan the barcode of a product you have in front of you (e.g. Kraft Macaroni & Cheese Dinner).
4. Check out the overall GoodGuide score for each product, along with the individual score for Health, Environment, and Society. Tap on Behind The Ratings and How We Rate to get more information on how products are scored (or check it out here).
5. Got a bad score? Tap on Alternative Products to find similar items that rate higher - and buy those instead!
6. Feel great about making better informed, more ethical choices.
What apps help you shop more responsibly? Share your ethical nuggets in the Comments!