Grocery shopping has turned into way more than just a quick trip , nowadays, the eco-minded shopper is faced with a sea of labels, products, and certifications. So how are you supposed to know which products are really green and which ones are just posers? Luckily, two new apps for your IPhone are helping you avoid this confusion by allowing you to look up information on the products you’re buying and the labels they carry.
The GoodGuide is the world’s largest database of information on the health, social, and environmental impacts of consumer products. GoodGuide evaluates & scores products across each of these three areas to help people shop smarter and simultaneously motivate companies to offer even better products.
You can look up the GoodGuide score for more than 65,000 products online at their website, but what good is that when you’re out at the pharmacy trying to pick-up some new shampoo and need to know right then!? Well, that’s exactly why they created the GoodGuide IPhone app. The genius behind the app is in it’s simplicity. It works as follows: 1) Open up the App, 2) Hit the ”˜scan’ tab, 3) select the ”˜scan barcode,’ and 4) point your phone’s camera at the product’s barcode.
Results: The barcode is scanned by your phone and GoodGuide’s ratings are shown to you instantly.
(Disclaimer: It’s quite fun and before you know it you’ll be scanning 10 different bottles of shampoo… definitely be make sure to leave a little extra time next time you run those errands)
But what if you can’t find your product in GoodGuide’s database… or you find it, but you’re not sure what a particular label means. Well, that’s why the NRDC created the Label Lookup App (Opens iTunes).
IPhone users can download Label Lookup free from the iTunes store. The Label Lookup App has a database of labels across multiples categories, including food, cleaning products, personal care, and more.
Label Lookup is again very easy to use and allows you to lookup claims by label (e.g., free trade) to find out if the label is trustworthy. If you are searching for a particular product, you can see which ones tout valid, well-regulated labels. Each description includes an evaluation from the NRDC as well as information about the label directly from the certifier or regulator. Labels are rated on a scale of zero to three:
So have you used any of these apps before? Like them, don’t like them? Drop us a comment and tell us about an experience you’ve had.
About the Author: Dinesh Thirupuvanam runs a group purchasing organization for eco-minded small businesses called the Viv Biz Club (Viv). Viv helps businesses pool their purchasing power to save up to 80% on sustainable products, including compostable cups, biodegradable food packaging, and recycled office supplies.
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