‘Tis The Season For A Good Guide

DaraIt’s that time of year, again: the season of giving…or at least the season of buying. When you’re perusing the shelves, be they virtual or actual, what matters to you? Beyond price, quality and value what about knowing how the company that made this product treats its workers, the extent to which production depletes natural resources, and what impact this product has on the environment? Many of us care about these things in the abstract, but it would be awfully arduous to research all of that while we are out there trying to get our shopping done. If only there were an app. But there is!

Our guest this week is Dara O’Rourke, UC Berkeley professor and co-creator of Good Guide, a website and smart phone app that consumers can use to make informed decisions on what they’re buying. Just scan the barcode and get a product’s score on topics ranging from social justice to greenhouse gas emissions. We talk about what has to happen next to help boost consumer awareness, like increasing transparency on the use of nanoparticles, fragrances, and genetically modified organisms and how tricky it is to calculate a comprehensive product score for social responsibility.