On Friday I took my newly purchased Ethical Consumer Guide app for i-phone along for the ride while I stocked up on some everyday groceries. Needless to say, it did add a significant amount of time to my usual whiz through the aisles as it involved scrolling through product lists every time I picked up an item.
It was however, a massive eye-opener. It would be fair to say that I changed in excess of 50% of the products I had considered my favourites due to the negative feedback provided by the guide. For instance, I need to buy some tomato sauce so reached for the usual household names…the guide gave the vast majority of these a big red cross. Interestingly, a lot of these companies are not Australian owned and lost points on several criterion such as misleading labelling and possible use of genetically engineered ingredients. There were also some pleasant surprises; our favourite at home coffee brand Scarborough Fair got the big thumbs up, although as it’s already known for being a fair-trade brand with great practices it came as no surprise.
One things for sure, I certainly felt empowered by shopping with the guide instead of blindly throwing in whatever package glittered most brightly from the shelves.
For a sample of the type of information you will find on the app, take a look at the online version.