Monday, September 19, 2011

Toothpaste and Goats

I purchased the Better World Shopping Guide last week, and I couldn't put it down.  It might not sound like a best-seller to you, but I was instantly sucked into it's pages and couldn't get enough!  

For those of you not yet sucked in by this book, let me tell you about it.  The BWSG, as those of us in the know call it, (okay, actually just me) is a book that rates companies based on factors such as:

  • Environmental Sustainability
  • Human Rights
  • Community Involvement
  • Animal Protection
  • Social Justice

The companies are then assigned a score (A+ through F-).  These companies are arranged by category, so that a consumer wishing to buy toothpaste responsibly can look up the category "Tooth Care" and find out the best and worst companies to support with their purchase. 


And that is really the crux of it; we support the companies we buy from.  This has never bothered me before, and I've just mindlessly consumed whatever I wanted, generally looking for the best deal.  It never crossed my mind that perhaps those jeans were only $11.50 because the person who made them halfway around the world only got paid $1.50 that day.  

I'm not all green and granola-y, (although what follows may persuade you otherwise), and I don't give that much of a hoot about whether those companies protect animals or offset their carbon footprint.  Yes, I think we should protect animals, but I bought the book because I was more concerned with the human element.  

Can I just say, I was floored!  As soon as I got the book, I held my breath and flipped to the clothing section.  See, I had to know, had to know if I would still be able to, in good conscience, purchase my Banana jeans.  I <3 them.  And I can, WOOT!  Their score was high enough to leave my conscience unscathed and my wallet a little more empty, next time I hit up the outlet mall.  There were other surprises, too, but I don't want to give too much away.  Let's just say the J-e-l-l-* is not as innocent as it appears.

This book has left me a little bewildered, a little uncomfortable, and perhaps slightly changed.  I'm at least thinking about these things now, which is good for me.  And I bought the Kindle version which, while not quite formatted correctly, allows me to use the search function to quickly get to what I want to know.  

Meanwhile, as my head is spinning from all this new knowledge, I realized that Sir Dukas was out of food.  I headed over to Tractor Supply (Did you know they sold dog food there?  They do, high quality stuff, and generally for cheaper than PetSmart, FYI).  And what to my wondering eyes did appear, but a whole rack of books that I immediately wanted.  (Did you know they sold books there?  They do, and cool ones, too!)

I hurriedly scribbled their names down on the back of my church bulletin, and I think this is my list:

Yes, I want to know all about raising meat goats.  Gyros every day, hello!  Oh, wait, that's lamb.  Hmm.. well, maybe that one is at the bottom of my list, but still, I'm so excited about these books that I can't wait to overwhelm myself with information!!  Now I've just got to knock out this exam on Wednesday so I can delve into educating myself for realz!

In love with books,


  1. Ow, what did they say about wonderful Nestle? (I hope you can hear the sarcasm in my typing) After reading about all the evils they perpetuate I try my very best to never purchase anything from them! There is a wonderful book that tells more than you ever wanted to know about the Nestle thing called Milk, Money and Madness. It deals with baby milk and I know you aren't quite in the stage of life where you need to think terribly hard about it, but it is very eye-opening. Here is the amazon link.

  2. thanks for sharing this! very interesting and a great reminder that the choices we make define what we truly believe in.


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