GoodGuide Toolbar: Help for Busy Parents Seeking Safer and Greener Products

Have you ever had consumer paralysis?
When you simply can’t make a decision about what to buy, because neither one of the them is good, and you don’t know which is the greenest, safest choice?  
I have. Being a parent right now, when we can’t trust the safety of the products on store shelves, or the food in the supermarket, is overwhelming for busy parents.
Thankfully, we have a new tool.  Um, pun intended. 

GoodGuide just released its Transparency Toolbar for online shopping, making it quick and easy for consumers to discover and shop for products that are safe, healthy, green and socially responsible wherever they shop online.

The Transparency Toolbar is a web browser extension that is easy to install, and immediately gives users a personalized lens into online shopping that reflects their personal preferences and values about their health, the health of their families, and the health of the planet.

Once installed, the Transparency Toolbar appears at the bottom of a user’s web browser when shopping. It displays GoodGuide’s health, environmental and social product ratings along with a customizable Pass/Fail filter indicating how products perform on a consumer’s key criteria such as nutrition, organic, energy efficiency, climate change, animal testing, or labor and human rights. 

Can I tell you how fabulous I think these categories are? There are so many thing to think about as we make purchases, and sometimes, we are missing key information. Having all of it right there will make online shopping infinitely more easy and socially responsible. 
The Transparency Toolbar displays personalized product recommendations, pricing information and user reviews, and only appears when shopping. At other times when surfing the web, users won’t see it.

“The Transparency Toolbar puts the power back in the hands of the consumer to decide which products are right for them,” says Dara O’Rourke, GoodGuide’s founder and Chief Sustainability Officer. “Companies often make unsubstantiated marketing claims about the merits of their products without fully revealing the ingredients inside products or the business practices behind them. The Transparency Toolbar helps consumers see through the marketing. It filters out products that don’t measure up and quickly points consumers toward the ones that do.”

The personalization features built into the Transparency Toolbar are also being rolled out across the entire GoodGuide platform. Consumers can set them to appear on when browsing and researching products. Soon they will become available on GoodGuide’s mobile app so consumers can find products that reflect their personal preferences and values when shopping in grocery stores, supermarkets and other retail stores.

GoodGuide’s approach to personalization also takes into account many consumers’ desire to shop based on what is often referred to as the “precautionary principle.” For example, selecting GoodGuide’s “controversial ingredient” filter will screen out products that contain chemicals that are subject of current controversies (such as artificial colors or fragrances), or contain suspected hazardous chemicals (such as BPA or triclosan), or known hazardous chemicals (such as formaldehyde or dibutyl phthatate). 

Combining GoodGuide’s scientific product ratings with such high level personalization enables parents and others who wish to exercise greater precaution when selecting products for themselves or their families to conveniently do so.

The Transparency Toolbar is free to install and is currently compatible with the Firefox and Chrome browsers. Internet Explorer and Safari are in development. It currently works when shopping on sites such as, and More retail sites are now in development.

About GoodGuide:

GoodGuide empowers consumers to shop their values wherever they shop. Led by company founder and UC Berkeley professor, Dara O’Rourke, GoodGuide’s GoodGuide’s science team – chemists, toxicologists, nutritionists, sociologists, and environmental lifecycle analysis experts – has rated over 100,000 consumer products on their health, environmental and social performance. GoodGuide’s 0 to 10 rating system helps consumers quickly evaluate and compare products. The company’s mobile apps and online shopping tools combine leading science with cutting-edge technology to help consumers make informed purchasing decisions that are safer and healthier for them, their families, and the planet.

5 Responses to GoodGuide Toolbar: Help for Busy Parents Seeking Safer and Greener Products

  1. Mindful Momma August 11, 2011 at 9:34 am #

    Hey Katy! I'm so happy to see you posting about GoodGuide. I think they are a fabulous resource too!Did you know that I am co-hosting a Twitter party with GoodGuide next Tuesday, Aug. 18th at 6pm PT/9pm ET? We'll be talking about using the transparency toolbar to become a more conscious shopper. <a href="… />Would love for you and your readers to join us!Micaela

  2. Katy Farber August 11, 2011 at 2:47 pm #

    Great, Michaela! Glad to hear there is an upcoming Twitter party about this. I will try to come by and hope my readers do too. Thanks for letting me know and feel free to send me a reminder. 🙂

  3. Catia August 12, 2011 at 3:17 pm #

    Thanks so much for this. Goodguide is new to me and I will definitely check them out based on your recommendation. I appreciate all the work you do!

  4. Katy Farber August 12, 2011 at 4:51 pm #

    You are welcome, Catia! Thanks for commenting. Try it out and let me know how you like it. I will be trying it too and will post back here about my experiences.

  5. Erwin P August 22, 2011 at 8:04 am #

    An absolutely smashing idea! Because, as you say, it is mindblowingly difficult to try and account for every little factor that impacts how eco friendly something is.It seems this tool is only for amazon at the moment(?), which is of course a bit of a limitation. But then again, amazon sells almost everything so I guess that would be the online shop to start with. It'll be exciting to see how this tool develops in the future.All the best,ErwinMy site: Natural soap zone

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