Sustainable Citizen: Smart Shopper
Written by Plant With Purpose on August 21, 2014 in General
By Rylie Shore
Who doesn’t love a great discount? Those red stickers that say “Buy One Get One Free!” or “50% Off” make me twice as excited to go shopping. Being the bargain hunter that I am, I constantly look for the best ways to save money and find deals. Though this can be great for my own wallet, I recently learned that purchasing cheap items is not always so great for the people that help harvest or make the products, and it oftentimes damages the environment.
Companies know that people like me love a good bargain, and they will do anything to keep prices down and business up. Unfortunately, in many cases employers will pay their workers unlivable wages and use environmentally damaging methods to make their products cheaper for consumers. We unknowingly enable these companies to continue unjust practices by purchasing their cheap products. Of course, not every bargain item is a result of social injustices, so how do we know which products are a great buy and which are exploiting workers?
Thankfully, there are resources out there to help us minimize exploitation and improve sustainability by making smarter shopping decisions. “Good Guide” and “Better World Shopper” are two apps that can be downloaded to your cell phone, making them easily accessible while out at the grocery store. “Better World Shopper” is an app that rates each brand or company with an A-F, letting you know whether the company is a responsible option for consumers. “Good Guide” rates each company on three separate categories: health, environment, and society. It gives a separate rating for each of these and then provides an overall score for the product and company. Both applications are user friendly and provide us with an easy, manageable way to start making smarter shopping choices.
For those without smart phones or those with a Pinterest addiction, we have started our own “Environmentally Friendly Companies” board on the Plant With Purpose Pinterest page. Additionally, Good Guide has a website that provides the same services as the app, as well as offering additional information. With these basic resources, we as consumers can make a substantial impact for workers all across our planet, while conserving the environment.
Start shopping smarter, not harder, and help secure fair wages for some of our international partners and other workers around the globe who are working hard to feed their families!