Make a list & check it twice…
Knowing what products to buy is a sometimes confusing venture. Once you have reduced and reused all you can and the final decision has been made to purchase a product, people are often still left in a quandary about which are the best products to buy. Over the next few posts, I will be looking at different aspects of purchasing products.
Today, I am particularly interested in websites that can assist people in researching products they may be interested in purchasing. There are really two types of websites that can assist with this venture. The first type of website looks to review an entire company in regards to their quality, environmental responsibility, or other factors. The second type of website focuses on specific products that are reviewed.
Good Guide is a website that reviews specific products as well as companies for social justice, environmental impact, and health. Most products that are reviewed are food products, other other personal care products are also reviewed. There is also a blog on the site. This site is a for profit company, although they are a certified B Corporation.
Skin Deep is a website that focuses on personal care products. Products are reviewed based on the toxicity of ingredients. There is a search option by category of product, company, or ingredient.
Other lists are very specific. One example I located is from the NRDC (Natural Resource Defense Council). It looks specifically at toilet paper, napkins, and other paper products. The NRDC also has a wide variety of fact sheets on a wide range of issues. The Environmental Defense Fund has a list of which fish are best to eat. The nice thing about this list is that it has a mobile phone app and a pocket version available for download so memorization is not necessary. The Environmental Working Group (EWG), who have broad databases of products like Skin Deep, also provide a short list of the fruits and vegetables that have the most pesticides used on them. The “Dirty Dozen” are the fruits and vegetables that should be purchased organically to avoid pesticides while the “Clean 15″ have less pesticides used in their production. There is also a mobile phone app.
Also, if you are buying a product that you would like to have for a while, like a grill, sofa, vacuum, or television, be sure to check out the wide range of product review sites like Consumer Reports, Amazon, the Better Business Bureau, or other such site. A product is only sustainable if it stands the test of time.
Hopefully this list gives you a wide range in options when it comes to picking a product that meets your needs. Do you have a favorite site I missed? I would love to hear about it! How do you make purchasing decisions?