Column | You’ve probably never heard of…. GoodGuide

Posted by thetuftsdaily on February 17, 2013 under Arts & Living, Columns | Comments are off for this article

Let me introduce you to GoodGuide.com. GoodGuide is a website that rates different products on three scales, Environment, Society, and Health. Now, I’m a big fan of talking up environmental issues, but I might not always put my money where my mouth is. That’s when I met GoodGuide.

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Here are four steps to see how great (or abysmal) the products you are using are. 1. Go to GoodGuide.com; 2. Type in your products name (i.e. Garnier Fructis) 3. Read the review; 4. Feel like you are either mankind’s greatest citizen or its worst.

One example is the day I decided I would just look up my detergent. I logged on to GoodGuide and just on a whim decided to type in the name. I was terrified to find it had an overall rating of 3.7 (that’s bad!). I felt like I was single handedly destroying my health and the environment. But I never bought that detergent again, and that is why GoodGuide, while occasionally traumatic, can be so, well, good!

The Site gives people the tools to be educated consumers so they can spend their money in a way that aligns with their beliefs. GoodGuide also allows users to set personal filters, so they can list what issues are more important to them. Say for example that you are passionate about only using products that have transparency in what chemicals they use, GoodGuide will alert you to items that lack this transparency. They also have a toolbar that will popup and alert users if a product they are looking at on sites like Amazon.com goes against the values that the user has prioritized. The service even has an app that scans barcodes and gives users that item’s ratings.

GoodGuide is a great resource, but you really always have to read the dropdown menus that explain each rating. Some products lose points for issues that might not be important to you, or you’ll realize that certain types of products — i.e. cell phones — will always have low ratings. All the same, it is an excellent tool for the conscious consumer.

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