Enviro4me- Earth Advocates

Environmental Awareness Leading to Environmental Change

Helping the Environment: Getting Technical

By: Rachel Knight

Having a smart phone can actually aid you in becoming more knowledgeable when it comes to helping, conserving and protecting the environment. Whether you have an Iphone, Android or any other smart phone you have the ability to download and use an app that can drastically change the world! This app is called the “GoodGuide” and I personally have been using it since I purchased my first Iphone a couple of years ago.

This app allows you to scan any product’s barcode and will reveal to you whether it is environmentally friendly, safe, healthy, and if it is socially responsible. Each product is rated on a scale of 1-10 in regards to the criteria just mentioned. If you don’t like using the barcode feature you also have the ability to manually type in and search a product. This app has over 120,000 products in its system and each product is rated on how it can alter our health, the environment, climate, urban life, and other factors that greatly affect the world we live in. The findings for each product on the “goodguide” have been researched prior to appearing on the application. No user is able to simply write whatever they’d like in regards to a product, it is indeed fact, not opinion. However, you can “like” or “dislike” certain companies, brands, or products by clicking a thumbs up/ down icon. Some categories of products you can search while using this app include: food, personal care, cosmetics, lotions, shampoos, paper, office supplies, cell phones, cars, household cleaners, clothing companies, pet supplies… just to name a few.

Reading labels on a product can be confusing and often times misleading. This app allows you to skip that, and see within seconds the true effect of a product on yourself, the environment, and the world. You can use this app without an account, but I strongly recommend creating one. They are completely free and allow you to specifically control what issues you are most concerned about. In the preferences you can choose from different issues and then you can decide how important each area of research is to you by choosing between the levels of “do not include, important, or critical” in a product review. For example, my account focuses on energy efficiency, recycled materials, climate change, pollution, animal welfare, and resource conservation.

This app allows you to view very detailed information on the health, environmental and social performances of products and popular brands you use. Products are divided into very specific groups, which allows users to easily find the product they are looking for. You may be surprised at what you learn about products you have been using all your life. Thankfully, the app has also made it easy for you to share what you find with others! Not only can you share with other “GoodGuide” users but you can also share your findings with facebook friends, twitter, and even through email.

So, maybe you don’t have the time to volunteer and clean up trash on the beach, or to read up on environmental issues that affect us everyday. Maybe you just have too much to do and can’t even fathom including environmental considerations into your already very busy life… well, this app has changed that. “GoodGuide” has made it so that even the busiest people can be knowledgeable on environmental effects caused by the products we use. This app allows you to become more environmentally aware and considerate with a simple tap of your fingers. There is no excuse! Download the app today and start making a difference. Do it for yourself, your friends, your family, your neighborhood, your environment, your world!!

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