The Green Guide App Helps You Make Environmentally Friendly Decisions

Total Score:  25.5

  The Good Guide App helps you choose products that are good for you, good for the environment and good for society.  This is all about making informed choices.  With this app you can determine which factors are important to you and find out if your product choices match your commitment to a healthier, greener life.

  Price Rating = 5      Free.  There are no hidden in-app purchases with this one.  It is just free.

Ease of Use Rating = 5     The choices are simple – scan, see your list, search or set your preferences.

 Readability Rating = 5     Nice size font, easily readable.  At this time there is not an iPad version.

 Will You Use It Rating = 5     If you are interested in your health or the environment you will use this.  I would like to think everyone cares about at least one of those two things.

 Downsides Rating = -2     It dumped me out of the app a couple of times when I scanned products.  I got right back in and found the information, but it was a bump in the road.  I also had one experience when I scanned Del Monte Petite Cut Tomatoes and the response was some kind of sheets.   I expect the product will improve. I plan to use this app a lot and I will revisit this rating from time to time.

   Consumer Review Rating = 2.5     The recent reviews on this app have been four stars.  Over 11,000 people rated it 2.5 stars.  I think this is a great app and I want to see it improve.

  Why Do You Need This App Rating = 5     There is so much information to sift through to determine which products are the best for our health and environment.    Tools like this make our lives easier.

How does it work? 

  1. When you open the app, you have four choices and a big scan button.  If you choose to scan your product, you tap the scan button and a barcode reader opens.  You hold the camera/barcode reader over the barcode and it quickly scans it.  It will take you to either a product description or a note that the product was unrated.  About half the items I choose were unrated.  Most of the failures were food related and it would be expected that not all of them would be there.
  2. If you chose the square with a bottle with a star on it,  you see a selection of broad categories to search.  I chose Paper Products, drilled down to paper towels, and found out that the ones I use are the middle of the pack – not so good.   Other choices in this section are personal care, food, pet food, cars, cell phones, appliances and apparel.  The iPhone failed because of a filter I requested relating to human rights.  Parts of iPhones are made in China and their labor practices are below U.S. standards.
  3. Another choice on the home screen is MY LISTS.   In this section you can add your approved or disapproved products.  I suppose this is in case you forget which are which.  I would like to think I’d remember, but it doesn’t hurt.
  4. The third selection on this page is Settings.  In this area you can set your own personal preferences and each product will be measured by what is important to you.  It is as simple as tapping on the arrow next to DON’T INCLUDE and moving the slide to important or critical.
  5. The last block on the home screen  offers you an opportunity to watch a video about the product.  Personally I would have put this feature somewhere less prominent and use the space for searching.
  6. In addition to the choices mentioned above, you can just search by a product by name.

It is a relatively simple app with a lot of data behind it.  There is a solid team of scientists and executives behind this app.   They are not asking you to choose one brand or another; they are just providing you with data to help you make an informed choice.

Devices:  This app is compatible with the iPad, iPhone and iTouch. It requires iOS 4.0 or later.  This app was developed by GoodGuide Inc.


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