Customer Review

4.0 out of 5 stars Working together for change, March 18, 2012
This review is from: Ecological Intelligence: How Knowing the Hidden Impacts of What We Buy Can Change Everything (Hardcover)
I found this book to be repetitive at the beginning and pretty depressing. As I continued reading I was appreciative of information about links such as GoodGuide which consumers can use to help make decisions about what they purchase based on a number of parameters.
"GoodGuide can evaluate a company's policies, its disclosure of key information on products, and ultimately a company's impacts on consumers, workers, communities, and the environment."

Warning: GoodGuide can eat up a lot of your time. It is fascinating checking out various companies and products.

Goleman does make the point that small individual changes won't save the world, but the impact of many consumers speaking with their social media voice and purchasing dollars does make a difference, as illustrated by the recent decision of Pepsi and Coke to change their coloring formula.

The other important site mentioned is Earthster which allows companies to share what they've learned about solving environmental problems and which rates businesses re their progress in making improvements rather than just declaring them bad guys.
"If that environmental manager finds out they are worse than the average toxic release for their industry, and wants to keep the Texas business, then we would record their present levels as a benchmark for progress. Once they find ways to lower their release, they can show a reduction from that benchmark in pollution per product sold."
'Progress is a game that every company can play,' says Norris. 'Everyone can get better incrementally-and we need them to. The idea is not just to make a few green companies rich but to spread progress everywhere in the economy.'
As huge institutional buyers and retailers pressure their suppliers to improve, those suppliers will pass that pressure down their supply chain. Anyone who has a way to improve some aspect of products' LCAs can let that be know on Earthster."

The tools are out there and it's a question whether they will be used by enough businesses and consumers to make a difference. My hope is the power of social media will tip the balance toward transparency and ecological intelligence.
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Location: Middleton, WI

Top Reviewer Ranking: 11,050