Know how, every couple of months, the New York Times Style Section publishes an article on how well-meaning people are just so frustrated by trying to live green that they don’t bother? Here’s the most recent example. They typically don’t give any more information than “green is soooo hard” and “people are soooo confused”, which I imagine is why this “reporting” stays in Style. It might be helpful if they mentioned any sort of solutions (set priorities? budget first, buy later? make it before you buy it?) but that’s not really the point of the article.
Yesterday, though, a company from Berkeley launched a website to help you make sustainable decisions, simply. GoodGuide rates products based on social, environmental, and safety issues, and gives them a score from 1 to 10. You can search things that score particularly well in each category, or several categories, and it’s not just hippie brands that score well. A detailed reasoning behind each grading rubric is included.
It’s small yet (60,000 products small…so not tiny), and hasn’t been able to collect all the data it needs to make it’s scores representative yet- but they’re good approximations. Plus, you can leave your own reviews on products, and help out. Most of what they’ve got listed is a household cleaner or personal care product.
So, check it out, if you need some help deciding. And check it out to see if your product choices really make as much sense as you think…