Be good. Do good. Buy good things. With the free GoodGuide app for Android and iPhone, it’s incredibly simple to browse a variety of product ratings based on health, environment and society's wellbeing. We liked it so much that we found ourselves browsing lists of toothpastes out of pure curiosity.
The Recapp Rating
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If you want to be good to the environment and to your body, then it only makes sense to download an app called GoodGuide. This app is for eco-friendly shoppers, organic eaters, sustainable business advocates and anyone who wants to support “good” products in the marketplace today.
GoodGuide helps you sort through thousands of products to find the best ones—from cars and cell phones to pet food and household cleaners. Ratings are supplied by GoodGuide, a team of scientists, nutritionists and other brainiacs led by Professor Dara O’Rourke of UC Berkeley. (You can learn about the GoodGuide team in the app.) The GoodGuide ratings, along with your customized filters, are applied to thousands of products and companies.
Say you’re shopping for toothpastes at the store, but you’re not sure which is healthiest or most eco-friendly. From GoodGuide’s homepage, you can click on the barcode-scanner icon to take a picture of a product’s barcode in a store. If it’s a store brand or a lesser-known brand, it’s possible that the product’s company will pop up with a rating. The hope, though, is that GoodGuide will generate the exact product, and it does an impressive job of doing so.
From a product detail page, you’ll see four main ratings on a scale from one to 10: health, environment, society and overall. While the health and environment ratings are pretty self-explanatory, we had to navigate to the Behind the Ratings section at the bottom of the page to find that society ratings indicate the company’s social policies, practices and performances. A good rating of around 7, for example, indicates that the company places within the top 15% of companies rated by GoodGuide.
In addition to the ratings, GoodGuide also provides other top alternative products, a list of the top products made by the brand, nutritional information and lists of ingredients (ingredients are marked of high, medium and low concern). The app will also tell you whether the product passes your selected filters. If fair trade is important to you, it’ll let you know if that coffee is worth buying, or if organic is a must, it’ll tell you if that shampoo passes the test. You can share the product with friends and save it to a list of favorites within the app.
The one thing we’d like to see in GoodGuide is a list of ratings for popular restaurants—if it recycles, if it uses organic or sustainable food, etc. (Until then, we recommend inBloom for restaurant ratings in select cities.)
Reviewed: Apr 20, 2012 | Mary Georger