Goodguide, a revolution in consumption-Ricardo Voltolini

28 de December de 2012, por em Articles

He's on his way to a revolution in consumption. And she goes by the prosaic name of GoodGuide or Well Guide in free translation and not authorized. Save this name because probably heard much of him over the next few years, before maybe became news in the National Newspaper.

It is a useful tool for those who want, at the time of shopping, quick and reliable information on the environmental impacts of a product or brand.

This experience of association between technology and responsible consumption began to take body recently in the United States. With an application installed on the iPhone, those that read bar codes, an American consumer can while Strolling among the shelves of a supermarket, send information to a database that, in seconds, for example, reveals the existence of toxic substances in a product, whether or not there was exploitation of workers in their production or even how much the manufacturer is concerned with the conservation of the environment. Simple and practical, helps consumers more engaged to make a conscious choice, without great effort to unearth labels, where they exist, seem designed to misinform.

The GoodGuide gathers data from 75 thousand products, ranging from food to house cleaning, personal care and toys. With it, you can compare similar items and competitors, access a ranking with assignment of notes and even create a Favorites list using cross-criteria of health, safety and socio-environmental commitment.

The tool was born in 2007 from a domestic insight ´ Dara O Rourke, professor in the Department of political science and Environmental management, University of California, Berkeley. Before I left the House to walk the five-year-old daughter, to read the label of the sunscreen, he had doubts as to the chemical composition of the product. Searching after, discovered the existence of a potentially toxic substance harmful to human health. Has it occurred to you that many other mothers and fathers should have the same doubts with respect to the raw materials of products used by their children. And that thousands of consumers do not have the remotest idea what contains apparently harmless consumer products or as-and under what conditions–the companies produce.

Entrepreneur, ´ Rourke opened a non-profit organization and sought the support of scientists, experts in consumer behavior and industry professionals. Also joined the University of California, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Google, Amazon, eBay and PayPal. The use of the GoodGuide grows every day in the wake of the expansion of the Cultural Creatives movement, formed today by a group of 70 millions of Americans less egocentric and more concerned with the other, with the quality of life and the health of the planet.

Analyzing under the aspect of the evolution of the conscious consumption, the GoodGuide can make more difference than any specific regulation. Not that create standards is not necessary. On the contrary, they function as a mechanism of pressure to change practices. Is that the engagement of citizens, consumers and consequent pressure from it, will change more quickly than companies any penalties for breach of rules that are being and will be designed to protect consumers.

To make useful information about impacts, kept in the shadows, before desequilibravam the relationship between who produces and who buys, the tool of course empowers the consumer in these times of increasing interest in environmental and health issues.

The GoodGuide eliminates, departure, a major obstacle in the process of changing consumer behavior. To the extent that provides instantly useful information, enabling the comparison, it fills a vacuum left by the absence of clear and understandable indicators. More than that, breaks with the so-called "cognitive inertia", simplifying a lot of the decision-making process. It is known that the human mind, in front of many product alternatives, the mental energy use to evaluate labels/packaging information and the time needed for such a task, always the fastest option/satisfactory, not always ideal.

By giving power back to the consumer, the GoodGuide is here to stay in this era of radical transparency. Good for consumers and businesses. With it, consumers will be able to make the Act of consumption an instrument for effective citizenship; and more than that, an exercise in altruism on behalf of a healthier and better world. Companies, in turn, will have to change processes and practices in the direction of sustainability if they don't want to lose the same page (and, per table points of market share) with its increasingly well-informed and demanding customers. Welcome the GoodGuide.

Notice to Mariners: how many products are sold globally, a paced by site can be a good first exercise to assess how sustainable are items that you eventually buy here in Brazil.

Ricardo Voltolini
Journalist, writer and publisher of the magazine Sustainable