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Top 5 Shopping Apps for Conscious Consumers

Today, we can wave “hello” to our relatives 5,000 miles away right from the comfort of our homes. We can hold full blown meetings with organizations across the globe without ever leaving our own office. We can know what’s happening as events unfold in South Africa, Lithuania and Cambodia and in nearly every corner of the Earth. Truly it’s amazing, this connectedness, and it has been made possible thanks to technology.

Yet even with all the admirable technological advances nowadays, there is a disconnect going on, especially in terms of where we get our food, clothes and other products. Many of us have grown up getting food from supermarkets and clothes from department stores, often not questioning where these products came from and what it took for them to get on shelves and racks. In the Western world, we are essentially cut off from the production process unless we ourselves or our friends and family members hold manufacturing or agricultural jobs.

This detachment poses a number of problems as we could be supporting the proliferation of irresponsible and unsustainable industries.

We may not know for sure if our bananas were picked using child labor and sprayed with pesticides banned in the U.S. because grocery stores do not provide adequate information. We can pick up mascara or a lipstick, think it pretty, yet not fully comprehend that a number of rabbits were subjected to cruel and unnecessary tests to make it since cosmetic boxes just feature immediate product information like ingredients and how-to-use descriptions. We can even select an item marked natural and believe that it’s better for us, animals and the environment when in reality it’s often just a marketing gimmick—a fact we wouldn’t know just by looking at it.

With many of us leading hectic lives with little free time to conduct extensive research on products, technology in the form of Smartphone apps can be the missing link that will help better connect us to the hundreds of products and goods lining shelves. There are thousands of apps available and since it can get overwhelming, we’ve cut through the noise to bring you the top five eco-shopping apps to have handy on your next trip to the store.

1. Farmstand

Farmstand
 

User Rating: 4.5 / 5

Cost to you: Free

Available for: iOS devices

Eating local is becoming more than just a trend; it’s a way for people to reconnect with their food and their local communities. Farmstand allows you to keep this connection alive by providing you with information on where to find local area farmers’ market. In addition to locating markets, you can share photos from your shopping trip, post details of what you’ve discovered and help promote your local market by highlighting its great offerings.

2. Dirty Dozen

Dirty Dozen
 

User Rating: 5 / 5

Cost: Free

Available for: iOS and Android devices

Want to keep your body, your family and the environment safe from harmful pesticides? Start by speaking with your wallet and buy foods that require minimal to no pesticides to grow. The Dirty Dozen app made by the Environmental Working Group can help guide you in your purchases. The app offers information on 12 types of fruits and vegetables most likely to be contaminated with pesticides and in turn provides you with the best alternatives.

3. Animal Free

animal free
 

User Rating: 4 / 5

Cost: Free

Available for: iOS and Android devices

While certain products on store shelves are clearly sourced from animal, other times deciphering labels can be more difficult especially with ingredients like casein, gelatin, whey and L-Cysteine, which don’t sound like they’re derived from animals even though they are. The Animal Free app helps make humane shopping easier by identifying common and hidden animal ingredients. Scan an item barcode to discover a detailed account of what’s inside or add new items yourself to help expand the database and assist other users.

4. Cruelty-Free

cruelty free
 

User Rating: 4 / 5

Cost: Free

Available for: iOS and Android devices

Thanks to the Leaping Bunny Program from the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics (CCIC), it has been much easier to identify cruelty-free cosmetics in recent years. Now, there’s an app to assist you while you shop for makeup and hygiene products. The Cruelty-Free shopping guide lists over 200 U.S. and Canadian companies that do not test their ingredients, formulations or finished products on animals. You can search or browse companies alphabetically and by product categories right in the palm of your hand.

5. Buycott

Buycott
 

User Rating: 4.5 / 5

Cost: Free

Available for: iOS and Android devices

Newest to the eco-shopping app world is Buycott, created by a 26-year-old freelance programmer. Buycott helps you purchase products that align with your values. Initially, you’ll set up a profile and select which issues and campaigns you support. Then while you’re shopping, you can scan a product to see what brand it belongs to, what company owns the brand, who owns the company and how the brand and company line up against your principles as outlined in your profile.


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0 comments on “Top 5 Shopping Apps for Conscious Consumers”

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SunglassFix
3 Years Ago

What about shop ethical? its a great app that helps you shop ethically ;) Every dollar votes folks, repairing and reusing is a big vote too.


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