Shopping with Purpose

Every industry has companies that are environmentally and socially responsible, and others that aren't. Who has time to research all of them, though? I try to keep my eye out for reports of abuses by corporations or good things that they're doing, but it's so hard to keep track! Imagine my excitement when a friend sent me a link to Better World Shopper. They even have a handy book!

Better World Shopper has done the research for me in a large number of industries, and has nice, easy-to-understand lists for each. While I wish there was a drill-down option that would offer an explanation of individual companies and rankings, the list is better than nothing! I like hat, at a glance, I can discover, for example, that our Toyota has a better impact on the world than our Volvo, that my choice to patronize the local BP station isn't so bad, and the pint of Ben & Jerry's on my birthday was a pretty good choice.

The listing of good and bad companies is useful, but maybe even moreso, is the list of the categories where change for the better is most imperative. Choosing a socially-responsible bank, for example, isn't something I ever thought about.

Where do you prioritize your socially- and environmentally-conscious shopping? Are lists like this helpful?

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