Cover of The Better World Shopping GuidePhoto by: New Society Publishers

Each month we have will a suggestion for something we can do and invite your responses, ideas and actions. Ours will come from the basic principle of spiritual ecology, that all Life is sacred and our actions should reflect that principle. Thus we combine the spiritual and the practical into loving action for our Earth. Love always works well…

by Dr. Ellis Jones —

Around ten years ago, I wrote The Better World Shopping Guide, part of my attempt to do something good in this world. Now in its 5th Edition, it represents the end result of a long-term research project to create a comprehensive, up-to-date, reliable account of the social and environmental responsibility of every company currently producing consumer goods for the US marketplace and to make the results available in a practical form that individuals can use in their everyday lives. The book is based on a comprehensive database of over 2,000 companies and synthesizes 50 sources of public, private, and nonprofit data to cover a range of issues including the environment, human rights, community impact, animal protection, and social justice. My hope is that people begin a daily practice of becoming conscious of how their consumption affects the world around them. Whether its chocolate, holiday gifts, or just gasoline to fill up the tank, I want people to know what their best options are for responsible choices that are more likely to help rather than hurt our future. Yes, we must all consume less, but when we need to purchase something let’s make sure it’s as compassionate, thoughtful, and wise a choice as possible.

Besides the pocket-sized guidebook, the A to F rankings of companies are available online and as an app for iOS and Android phones.

Ellis Jones, Ph.D. is the award-winning author of The Better World Shopping Guide and the co-author of The Better World Handbook. He is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Holy Cross College in Worcester, MA.

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