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New Toolbar Evaluates the Ethics of Your Online Shopping How Ethical Are Your Online Shopping Choices? This Toolbar Tells You in Real Time

The GoodGuide toolbar can aid consumers in making socially responsible online purchases.

Just as food labels help consumers make healthy decisions, a new product from GoodGuide (no relation to GOOD) can aid them in making socially responsible purchases.


The new GoodGuide Transparency Toolbar allows consumers to evaluate products on measures including safety, health effects, and environmental friendliness as they shop. Dara O’Rourke, GoodGuide’s co-founder and chief sustainability officer, says that “companies often make unsubstantiated marketing claims about the merits of their products without fully revealing their ingredients or the business practices behind their production. The Transparency Toolbar [...] filters out products that don’t measure up and quickly points consumers toward ones that do.”

The toolbar pops up as you shop online—for the moment, only at Amazon.com—and ranks the products you are checking out. "The toolbar looks for data, such as product UPC codes, and then matches the product on the page to our database of 120,000 rated products," GoodGuide vice president Josh Dorfman says. "If it returns a match, the toolbar appears."

The best part is that the categories in the toolbar aren't based on GoodGuide's preferences, but your own. Once you download the toolbar, you set your own values filter, which can tell you how products are ranked on criteria including nutrition, energy efficiency, animal testing, and labor and human rights. It will let you know which products pass or fail your own standards.

GoodGuide has plans to expand the toolbar to Walmart, Target, Soap.com, Diapers.com GoogleProducts and more. The company also plans to roll out a mobile app so consumers can check product ethics while walking the supermarket aisles.

photos via Goodguide.com

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