Radical Transparency

GoodGuide Rates Consumer Products

Careful shoppers are thinking twice about what they buy, but until now it’s been virtually impossible for the average consumer to access the information they need to evaluate if a product is truly safe, healthy and green. Dara O’Rourke, co-founder of GoodGuide, a website and iPhone app that taps the expertise of scientists and engineers to analyze the impacts of individual products, is out to change that. Until now, “We basically don’t know anything about the products we buy,” says O’Rourke, a professor at the University of California–Berkeley. “In some ways, we live in the Dark Ages when we go shopping.”

www.GoodGuide.com is a sort of CliffsNotes to the confounding and complex world of ingredients typically—but not always—found listed on the back of everyday products. It rates 75,000 items from 0 to 10. The ratings team considers an overall 6 to 8 to be good. Scores for each of 600 criteria cover a multitude of factors, tracking a product’s environmental life cycle and full range of corporate social values.

Source: The Christian Science Monitor

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