being a better world shopper.

I recently bought this handbook, on the recommendation of my friend Carter. I have generally been a conscious shopper, buying organic & fair trade, and avoiding companies that I knew had a bad reputation for human rights violations or environmental irresponsibility, like Nestle & Tyson. But I wanted to be better - to know where my money is going, and to whom.

This book is incredible. It's very easy to use, & gives short examples of reasons why certain companies got their particular grade, and places to research to get more information. I am committed to never supporting any business which has gotten a "D" or an "F" now, and to try to support more of the businesses which have gotten an "A" or a "B." But man, it is difficult. Many of these corporations encompass TONS of different brands, and they don't have to tell us which brands they own.

For example, Procter & Gamble makes over 30 different brands, all of which get either a "D" or an "F" in their respective categories:

Always (Feminine Care) = D
Bounce (Laundry Supplies) = D-
Bounty (Paper Towels & Toilet Paper) = D
Charmin (Paper Towels & Toilet Paper) = D
CoverGirl (Cosmetics) = F
Crest (Dental Care) = D-
Dawn (Cleaning Products) = D-
Febreze (Laundry Supplies) = D-
Folgers (Coffee) = D+
Gillette (Body Care ) = D-
Head & Shoulders (Hair Care) = D-
Herbal Essences (Hair Care) = D-
Iams (Pet Food) = D
Ivory (Soap) = D
Luvs (Baby Care) = D+
Olay (Soap) = D
Old Spice (Body Care) = D-
Oral-B (Dental Care) = D-
Pampers (Baby Care) = D+
Pantene (Hair Care) = D-
Puffs (Paper Towels & Toilet Paper) = D
Secret  (Body Care) = D-
Swiffer (Cleaning Products) = D-
Tampax (Feminine Care) = D
Tide (Laundry Supplies) = D-

They also make Venus, Eukanuba, Mach3, & even PUR water filters. & how many of these different brands do we regularly buy? Sixteen. Yikes. We have a lot of changes to make. It's amazing how much work can still be done when you think you're doing so well.

By the way, Procter & Gamble scores so low because they continue to put unsafe ingredients, like known carcinogens, in their products (they have actually worked to weaken laws about the amounts of toxins in products in Europe); they disregard workers' rights in foreign factories; and they continue unnecessary testing on animals.

For anyone taking notes, there are plenty of responsible alternatives to Procter & Gamble products. By category, the most responsible companies listed by Better World Shopper:

Baby Care: Seventh Generation (which I've seen in Kroger & Target), gDiapers, Aubrey Organics
Body Care: Druide, Preserve, Tom's of Maine (which is available basically anywhere also)
Cleaning Products: Seventh Generation, BioKleen, Oxo Brite, Method
Coffee: Thanksgiving, Cafe Humana
Cosmetics: Aveda, Kiss My Face, The Body Shop
Dental Care: Preserve, Tom's of Maine, Jason
Feminine Care: Seventh Generation, Diva International, Gladrags
Hair Care: Druide, Aveda
Laundry Supplies: Seventh Generation, Method, Oxo Brite, Biokleen, Planet
Paper Towels & Toilet Paper: Seventh Generation, Earth Friendly, Green Forest
Pet Care: BioBag, Natural Life, V-Dog, Swheat Scoop (cat litter, which we actually already use)
Soap: Tom's of Maine, Dr. Bronner's, Juniper Ridge, Kiss My Face, Aubrey Organics

More Information (and where I got a lot of mine!):
Better World Shopper
Responsible Shopper
Ethical Consumer

No comments:

Post a Comment