What is good? Smoking or Toothpaste…

The Good Guide: a helpful resource for finding out if a product is good or bad for you and how the company rates on environmental impact and social involvement.

Good Guide

Choose a product, research it, look at its ratings, decide…

The decision is what I am left with at the end of this class session to research common household products. I discovered that many of them I use may cause cancer! Shocking…

But is the knowledge this website produces compelling enough to make consumers change their habits?

I’m not so sure.

I mean sure when I found out that my Crest Pro-Health Toothpaste contained carcinogens, I would probably not buy it again. Especially when Tom’s of Main brand toothpaste is just as cheap and completely natural and better for you.

But the typical American consumer may not be so inclined, even with provided knowledge of harmful effects… Let me expound.

Take smoking for example. I know many kids my age who continue to smoke cigarettes. Reasons unbeknownst to me. It concerns me to see that even with the knowledge that smoking cigarettes causes cancer, people continue to choose to smoke.

Back to my toothpaste. I now know that my toothpaste may cause cancer. But if I continue to buy it, what makes me any different from a smoker? Not much.

You may not agree with this seemingly extreme comparison, but the point I am trying to make is that once we know the truth, we often do not act on that truth. We still buy the harmful products or drink coffee from places that use slave labor or buy clothing at the expense of children’s well-being.

But why? Why do we make these choices?

I say it is because of the structure of our consumeristic culture.

I find myself in Target (though very rarely the case these days). I realize I need to buy toothpaste, deodorant, or whatever. But oh my! I don’t have access to the Good Guide. I don’t have an iPhone with all the great helpful apps that help me make these important decisions of what brands to buy or not buy! Ah… the system! It’s hard to know what to do.

What can we do?

Be as aware as we can. Take the time to research. Make environmental enlightenment a new life structure (as opposed to a consumeristic, time-schedule oriented life structure).


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