I made a tremendous discovery today! Today, via someone’s Twitter post, I found a website called Good Guide. One of my chief concerns is dangerous ingredients and chemicals in the products I use. I’ve educated myself about a lot of the dangerous chemicals in shampoos, disinfectants, lotions, etc. but they are usually complicated (hard to commit to memory) names like “Triethanolamine”. I check the labels of what I buy but sometimes I discover new worrisome ingredients or I forget a few to check for. This is where Good Guide comes in!
What is Good Guide?
In a nutshell, as their website proclaims, Good Guide helps you find products that are healthy, green, and socially responsible! This website contains information on over 65,000 products – toys, personal care products, food, household products, etc. This includes, baby care products, baby food, diapers, canned foods, shampoos, hair dyes, stuffed animals, air fresheners, etc. And, they even have a mobile app!
How does Good Guide work?
Good Guide gives each product a rating (0-10) which is calculated from scores in three categories – health, environment, and society. Not only do you find out if your product has known carcinogens, you also find out if the company that makes your product has unethical policies or known history of environmental damage! Consumers can see all three rating scores, so if your concern is mostly on health you can evaluate your product based more on that rating. Along with the rating is an explanation for the rating. Let’s look at an example:
This rating is for St. Ives Swiss Formula Papaya Plus- Shampoo Plus Conditioner For Normal Hair. As you can see the overall rating is a 3.6 (0 is worst, 10 is best) and the sub-ratings are 3.0 for Health, 3.3 for Environment, and 4.3 for Society. There is also a short description of what elements formed the basis of the score. You can click through at the bottom to a more detailed explanation of the scores. Let’s look at a portion of what these details will show you:
This is only part of the full-ratings, but you can see that they evaluate very specific things in each category. This is a VERY comprehensive look at these products! In addition to such rankings, Good Guide also provides lists of the harmful and controversial ingredients in each product. This can be helpful in determining your selection- maybe you are very concerned about buying a shampoo that contains parabens but you aren’t as concerned about synthetic fragrances. You can easily see such ingredients specifically listed.
Probably the most helpful aspect of the site is the ability to find alternative brands of your product that received better ratings. For each product you look up, the site will provide you with suggestions for safer alternatives. You don’t have to randomly type in brands until you find the best one- the work is done for you! You can even skip the look-up part altogether and just search for the top products in each category. You might be surprised to find some of your “trusted” brands have pretty low ratings…GASP! Are you ready to make a change?!
Do you have any brands that you swear-by? Type them in and see what Good Guide has to say about your favorite products! You can also follow the Good Guide Blog as well as the Twitter account for current topics of interest. Come back and share with us what you discover about some of your products and whether or not Good Guide helped you make a change! And, please, help out your community by sharing this site with friends and family! Any new parents might want to check out the ratings on baby foods, diapers/wipes, and baby shampoos!