I’ve just recently joined the world of android users, and I will admit that after three years of living in the dark ages I’ve been going a little bananas downloading apps (did I really need a magic 8 ball on my phone?) However – a whole long time ago in the early days of Spinach, I posted about the Transparency Toolbar – an add-on for your web browser (Chrome and Firefox are supported) that gives you feedback on your online purchases based on ethical and environmental criteria that you select (i.e. sustainability, free trade, ethical sourcing, whether or not a product is tested on animals, etc.) Figuring out which products are truly made by responsible companies and where greenwashing occurs can be tough, and I got plenty of feedback from people saying they’d be trying the add on to try and demystify some of their shopping choices.
GoodGuide, the makers of the Transparency Toolbar, now have a mobile app for both Android and iPhone platforms – hence why I’m writing about it again. Ratings exist for 120,000 products including food, personal care, household and pet items, baby products, apparel, electronics, and even cars (!!). Downloading the app lets you scan the barcode of an item and instantly see the ratings so you can make an informed decision about what you buy – a huge perk of living in a world where everyone is instantly connected. It’s great to see technology that allows users to monitor and support corporate responsibility (at least in a few senses of the word) with their product choices and brand loyalty.
I’ve just downloaded the app (my phone is three days old, so it took me a bit) but I will post a review when I’ve tried it a few times. Any Spinach readers out there who have other tools, apps, or methods for informing their product choices, we’d love to hear in the comments!