My staple tools of being a socially and environmentally conscious individual are the Better World Shopper listings. If you have never been exposed to this educational wonder, head on over to their website immediately and figure out where your favorite products lie!
Available for personal use via their website (limited products), book (great but will need to be updated eventually) or smartphone app (best), this is a resource that you can use for just about anything. Ellis Jones has compiled countless hours of research on different companies and ranked them overall according to human rights, environmental issues, animal protection, community involvement, and social justice.
Companies are divided into categories, like “clothing”, “fast food”, “retail stores”, or “frozen dinners”, and then ranked A-F according to the research done by Jones and his team. Each category is also given a Best and Worst, and some specific reasons as to why they are awarded that title. For example, did you know that Back to Nature, a staple in many supermarkets natural food aisles, is actually owned by Kraft, one of the worst companies in America? Back to Nature gets an “F”, though its store placement might suggest otherwise.
I love this guide because I can use it when I am grocery shopping- I whip out my app ($1.99) and I can see what brands of cereal are better, or toothpaste, or almond milk. I now appreciate some well-known brands a lot more (IKEA for example) while not totally loving others that I used to trust (like Kashi). I have also been introduced to many new brands that I has never heard of, but now have grown to love and respect.
On the whole, even if you just visit the website when necessary, this is an invaluable tool for anyone looking to make their purchases consciously. Check it out, and tell me what you learn! Were you surprised by anything? I know I was…