The GoodGuide: Helping Consumers Make Informed Choices

A woman and man check out an item from a grocery store shelfDo you want to make good consumer choices when shopping, but are not sure how to do that? Do you want to choose products that do not contain harmful chemicals and are made by companies with good social policies?

The GoodGuide is a tool that can help you with your choices when shopping. It was started in 2007 by a team of science and technology experts to evaluate data on products and transform it into information for the consumer. The GoodGuide gives a vast range of products a score out of 10 in three categories: health, environment, and society; which are averaged into a total score out of 10. Under each of these categories is a comment on why the product scored well or not so well.

For example, when I looked up a particular brand of bagels, it had a low overall score of 3.0. I found out that these bagels were high in saturated fat and sodium. It also told me that this company’s social policies, practices and performance scored in the worst 20% of companies rated by the GoodGuide. It also recommended an alternative product that scored higher. The GoodGuide rates over 65,000 products from clothing, food, appliances, personal care and cleaning products.

The GoodGuide has developed a free downloadable app for your smartphone that allows you to access their information right inside any store. All you have to do is scan the product’s bar code. You can also create your own personal shopping lists based on your preferences.

What assurances do I have that this is a trustworthy source of information?

GoodGuide is an official partner with Environment Canada’s Ecologo program. The Ecologo program is what is called a Type I eco-label by the International Organization of Standardization (ISO). This means it meets rigorous scientific standards that are verified by third party testing. The team behind GoodGuide are leaders in the scientific and academic community. Many of them are either professors or graduates from Harvard orBerkeleyUniversities. The GoodGuide has been certified as a B Corporation (For Benefit) which means that they have been certified by a third-party to meet comprehensive and transparent social and environmental standards.

You can watch a short video about the GoodGuide to help you get started on using this tool. I hope you find it helpful when you are shopping. Let me know what you think about it!

About Shirley McLean

I am the Supervisor of Solid Waste Planning at Halton Region. My educational background includes a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering from the University of Guelph. My career focus is to work on programs and policies that lessen the environmental impact of waste on our earth.
This entry was posted in Apartments, Businesses, Compost, Education, Green Living, Household Hazardous Waste, Product Stewardship, Recycle, Reduce, Reuse and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to The GoodGuide: Helping Consumers Make Informed Choices

  1. Vinny Grette says:

    I tried using this tool but wasn’t able to create an account without using my facebook account. I don’t allow apps on facebook so was out of luck in so far as accessing the good guide. I’m sure there are lots of people who would like to try your tool who don’t even have facebook accounts. It seems like a flaw in the ointment to me…

  2. Vinny, thanks for your comment. The GoodGuide was not developed by Halton Region.

    The database tool can be used by anyone to help assess the health, environment, and social quality of particular products. You do not need to have a Facebook account to “search scientific product or company ratings.”

    There is an option to “sign up” with the site. If you choose that option, you do need to use a Facebook, Twitter, Google or Yahoo account.

    – Shirley McLean, Supervisor of Solid Waste Planning, Halton Region

  3. Vinny Grette says:

    This looks like an amazing resource. Thanks for letting us know about it and clarifying how to use it :)

  4. The GoodGuide is a tool that can help you with your choices when shopping. This is true. Try it :)

  5. Zina says:

    I think this article is cool!

  6. Pingback: Green holiday shopping tips | HaltonRecycles

  7. My partner and I absolutely love your blog and find almost
    all of your post’s to be just what I’m looking for. Do you offer guest writers to write content for you personally?
    I wouldn’t mind creating a post or elaborating on a lot of the subjects you write about here. Again, awesome weblog!

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