The GoodGuide, Also an iPhone App
We are so much more “aware” consumers nowadays and we want to know what – exactly what – we are putting in our mouths, on our skin, in our homes. Is it healthy? Is it safe? Is it sustainable? Thanks to the GoodGuide, we can now verify this information on over 70,000 food, toy, personal care and household items.
While still in beta mode, the GoodGuide already “provides the world’s largest and most reliable source of information on the health, environmental, and social impacts of the products in your home.” It analyzes and rates food, personal care products, household cleaners and toys. For example, Burt’s Bees Honey Lip Balm rates a 8.6 out of 10, which averages its 10 points for Health, 7.9 on Environment and 7.8 on the Society ratings (you can read about the ratings and methodology here).
Having this information allows us to make buying decision based on factors that are important to us. I’ve now learned that the Murphy Oil Soap that I’ve been using is not so-so bad on the environment (phew?) at 6.5, but the Pine Sol cleanser bottle will not be replenished as it scores only a 3.7. Thankfully, GoodGuide proposes higher scoring alternatives on the product rating results page; in this case brands like Ecos and Method were suggested, with higher scores all around.
The GoodGuide is a great startup story, where founder Dara O’Rourke decided to research the sunscreen he put on his 5 year old daughter only to realize that it contained a toxic ingredient. “Dara realized how little we know about the products we bring into our homes every day. He knew that other parents should have the same access to product information that he and his fellow researchers had. He also wanted to solve the problem of increasingly confusing marketing claims regarding whether products were actually healthy, safe or green.” (Read the full story here).
The site is flush with all sorts of useful information about current consumer health issues, recalls, green ideas and suggestions.
I particularly enjoy the recently upgraded iPhone app that now scans barcodes to provide instead ratings feedback.
That’s a new kind of smart shopping. Like.