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The Better World Shopping Guide: Every Dollar Makes a Difference (Better World Shopping Guide: Every Dollar Can Make a Difference) Paperback – September 21, 2010

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Editorial Reviews


While we generally try to make our vote count every four years, few of us realize that our most immediate power to shape the world is being squandered on a daily basis. Every dollar we spend has the potential to create social and environmental change. In fact, it already has. The world that exists today is in large part a result of how our purchasing decisions have already shaped it.

The Better World Shopping Guide rates hundreds of products and services from A to F so you can quickly tell the .good guys. from the .bad guys. and ensure your money is not supporting corporations who make their decisions based solely on the bottom line. Drawing on decades of meticulous research, this completely revised and updated fifth edition will help you find out who actually .walks the talk. when it comes to:

  • Environmental sustainability
  • Human rights
  • Community involvement
  • Animal protection
  • Social justice.

Small enough to fit in a back pocket or handbag, and organized in a user-friendly format, The Better World Shopping Guide will help you reward the companies who are doing good, penalize those involved in destructive activities, and change the world as you shop!

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Ellis Jones, PhD is the award-winning, bestselling author of The Better World Shopping Guide and The Better World Handbook. A scholar of social responsibility, global citizenship and everyday activism, Dr. Jones has dedicated himself to uncovering practical ways for people to make a difference in the world. He currently teaches in the department of sociology at Holy Cross College.

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Product Details

  • Series: Better World Shopping Guide: Every Dollar Can Make a Difference
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: New Society Publishers; Third Edition edition (September 21, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0865716803
  • ISBN-13: 978-0865716803
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 4 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,025,223 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Since receiving his doctoral degree in sociology from the University of Colorado, Boulder, Ellis Jones has focused all of his energies on bridging the gap between academics, activists and the average citizen. A scholar of social responsibility, global citizenship and everyday activism, Dr. Jones continues to teach and give presentations across the country on how to turn lofty ideals into practical actions. His other works include The Better World Handbook (winner of Spirituality & Health's Best Book of the Year Award for 2002 under the category of Hope - 2nd Edition released March 2007) and the bestselling work, The Better World Shopping Guide (4th Edition released October 2012), the only comprehensive guide to socially and environmentally responsible shopping that rates companies on a scale from A to F. This latter book has sold over 150,000 copies.

Dr. Jones has given inspiring yet practical presentations to a wide variety of audiences including a number of colleges and universities, sustainability symposiums, and global citizenship summits. He has been interviewed for radio and television both in the US and Canada, and was featured in the documentary film, 50 Ways To Save The Planet. In 2005, his work inspired the creation of The Better World Handbook Festival in Vancouver, BC. He has lived, studied, and worked in many parts of Europe, Asia, and Central America. He has won numerous awards for his work in the classroom and currently teaches in the department of sociology and anthropology at Holy Cross.

For more information on his work, you can visit and or email him directly to ask a question or inquire about a potential presentation or workshop at

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

116 of 118 people found the following review helpful By Monica Hood on October 10, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have to admit I'm feeling a little bit evil and trecherous for not giving such a great book and excellent concept a five-star review, but I will explain.

I am a long-time vegetarian and long-time environmentalist. I have been following Dr. Jones' "vote with your wallet" concept for many, many years (more than I care to admit), and I firmly believe that our voice is most greatly amplified when we speak daily from our role as consumer.

The GREAT thing about this book is that it is a concise, easy-to-carry, easy-to-consult-on-the-fly score card for most everything you might want to buy, from just about every company you can buy it from, and even from most of the places you'd be buying it. If you're already a well-informed green shopper and you have some experience with the politics of responsible consumption, then this is, indeed, a five-star book.

The downside to the book is that in order to make it a "pocket guide," it contains very little background information or explanation for why a particular company received the score they did. If you're new to the concept and find lots of your favorite products are getting Ds and Fs, then you are left almost on your own to find out why. (Of course, I'm all for doing your own research!) There are SOME explanations, but it's just not possible to detail the myriad reasons for corporate irresponsibility in a 177-page pocket-sized book.

There IS a web site for the book, but I don't think it's been updated for the second edition of the book, and it has very limited functionality. There is no search function, for example, and if there are details about specific company scores, I couldn't find them.

An example: I need some new pajamas.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A. Rasmussen on December 20, 2008
Format: Paperback
I devoured the Better World Handbook and purchased the Better World Shopper without thinking twice about it. While I knew it was compact (for portability's sake) I am a bit disappointed that there is no additional information on each company reviewed. I was under the impression you could go to the website and see more of the authors research to make better informed decisions. For example, exactly does Morningstar Farms receive such a bad grade? The reader is not informed of the details, the author simply "graded" the company based on his (admittedly thorough) scale and the reader is supposed to trust it's accuracy. Other than that, this is very helpful. If you do not want to know details, this is the book for you.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Francisco Morazán on February 12, 2010
Format: Paperback
This is an awesome book. I cannot recommend it enough. If used, it can be world-changing. No matter if you consider yourself a hardcore activist (myself) or just someone who is more socially-conscious this book and its extremely low price (buy through the [...] website) and free shipping will repay itself in multiple dividends every day it is used.

This book will change the way you shop forever and will make you feel great about yourself and what you are doing for the world in the process. This is a book to be shared and shared again. Read it cover to cover, definitely check out the website, and then carry it with you everywhere you go (do not worry it small enough to fit into a pants pocket).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Steven Rue Adams on December 9, 2008
Format: Paperback
Someone gave me this book and once I started flipping through the pages and seeing ratings about products I have bought and buy on a daily basis in some cases, it completely opened me up to how important our shopping dollar is. We essentially are enabling companies with our hard-earned money to invest in either a positive direction or a negative one for our world's future.

I like how the ratings are based not only on environmental bases, but social and ethical as well. The guide is so easy to use, I literally double check most products I buy before making my purchases - gas, electronics, food, etc. The book has a great set of intro pages that highlight the best and the worst companies, and how the A-F rating scale works.

The book feels like one of the most important and useful guides you could have on hand on a day-to-day level. I hope to see the author continue his journey of keeping businesses in check, and I also hope to see more research continue to be done in this arena. Would love to see an iPhone App for this type of info as well!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M. Lang on January 7, 2010
Format: Paperback
Very informative, yet short and concise, and small enough to fit in your bag. Everything you buy supports the practices of whatever company you purchase from, be them good or bad. Human and animal suffering, wastefulness, and deceitfulness can be eliminated if we all chip in the extra pennies to buy products from honest and innovative companies. The ultimate lesson I took from this book: the smaller (and more local) the company, the more likely they are to be supportive of charities, and the less likely they are to be involved in things such as child labor, animal testing, and wastefulness. Favorite companies like Kraft, Coca Cola, Wal-Mart, and Microsoft are huge corporate villains, only looking out for themselves, and just because they say something might be organic or whatnot, that doesn't mean that it is labor or cruelty free. Not all large companies are bad, however. Apple and Pepsi Co, among others, are out trying to do good in a complicated business world.
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