Knowledge is power, and these free mobile applications ensure we are making informed choices. Seventh Generation (the leading manufacturer of natural household cleaning products) teamed up with the public health nonprofit Environmental Working Group for the Show the World What's Inside campaign, dedicated to helping us figure out what's in the products we bring inside our home.
The Environmental Protection Agency has found that indoor air can be twice as polluted as outside air is, in part because of the products we use inside our homes. (You can learn more about this in my earlier post on volatile organic compounds in floor finishes and paints.) The Food and Drug Administration doesn't require companies to divulge contents of household cleaning products, but businesses are increasingly making the voluntary decision to do so. That said, who among us really knows the difference between the ingredients sodium chloride (table salt) and sodium hypochlorite (chlorine bleach)? The What's Inside app breaks this information down in language we can all understand. The Good Guide mobile application, which I am just starting to play around with, offers a fairly comprehensive rating system for over 70,000 food, toys, personal care and household products based on various environmental, social and health attributes.
(If you're like me—chatting on your phone in subzero weather conditions—take a look at these Freehands gloves created by Coolhunting founder Josh Rubin. Little flip back caps on the thumb and index fingers let you text, dial and take photos without removing your gloves. They are not a green item—hence the parenthesis—but I am campaigning for an eco-friendly version in 2010.)
Furry friends for little ones