Actually, I hate shopping. Well, shopping for clothes, mall shopping, that kind. I know, I'm not your typical girl. But grocery shopping is another story. I honestly really enjoy grocery shopping. I've come to love cooking, and my weekly jaunts to Central Market, Pike Place Market, and farmers markets are something I look forward to. It's a little escape for me...I enjoy meandering up and down every aisle and seeing what is fresh and local from one week to the next. I always try to buy local when possible, and organic. And I've tried to replace most of our everyday household products with earth friendly items. These days though, there are so many options out there of products that claim to be "green" from cleaning products to chocolate bars which are helping the world. Is fair trade good enough for my coffee, or should it be fair trade, organic, and shade grown?
I'll often end up standing in the cleaning products aisle just staring at the products not knowing which eco friendly product is actually better. Is Clorox's new green line, really green? Does that brand clean better. I look at the ingredients and try and remember things I've read- reviews, etc. But sometimes that's hard. There have been times when I go to grab a product, be it food, or household, and I think to myself, "wait, didn't I read something about this company?" but I can't remember what it exactly was that I read and why I should or shouldn't buy it. Here's a perfect example. The only flavor of Luna Bar that I eat is Nuts Over Chocolate. But then I read an article about the horrors of palm oil and realized that flavor was one of only two that included palm oil. Bye-bye Nuts Over Chocolate, I won't be buying you anymore. I was discussing this with #4 and he said "you should make a list of all the products like that and the reasons to buy or not buy them so you don't have to wonder everytime you are at the store." Great idea, but haven't gotten around to it.
But guess what? I don't have to anymore because someone already has done something similar! I just heard about this great book The Better World Shopping Guide. It was first published in 2006, but they have a revised edition being released this October (if you order via Amazon, make sure you are pre-ordering the new version...unless of course you want the older version). It ranks items on your grocer's shelf from A to F for social and environmental responsibility. And it doesn't just rate grocery items, there are computers, gasoline, airlines, and other items as well. What's even cooler is that you can download it onto your iPod! There is a lot of the information available for free on their website to tide you over until your book arrives in the mail.