New web-based tool helps shoppers choose ethical, environmentally-friendly options

Posted at 11:09 AM, May 29, 2020

There's a new tool available to help you make more environmentally-friendly choices while you shop, but the creator of the new technology needs your help.

Creator Jamie McCroskery really loves the outdoors, and that passion took him to South America.

“One day I was paddling down these fjords and saw these endless series of salmon fishing farms, which locals told me were destroying the environment through all this pollution,” McCroskery recalled.

And that was when he got an idea.

“It dawned on me that day, paddling in the ocean, that it seems strange that people who have the most access to information, the most resources can’t even figure out what to put on their dinner plate without violating their personal values,” he said.

McCroskery has a special skill. He's helped build major technology products for companies like Dropbox and Glossier.

“People are always going to be shopping for things. That’s how you have to survive, so why not help them make better choices while shopping,” he said.

So, he created True Label .

“I’m using the latest climate research and data scientists to estimate the carbon footprint of the product you’re looking at, show it to you and show you better alternatives if they exist,” he explained.

In order for it to take off, though, he needs people to use it, give him feedback, like telling him what products they'd like compared and where they want the technology to go.

“It’s honestly even easier than typing in a website,” said user Alexa Dennett. “You go to the website, you sign up to become a user, and literally, you click a button and it pops up with all the information you need.”

Dennett says the tool gives consumers more ethical choices to help guide consumption choices.

If you type “laundry detergent” into your shopping browser, say, Amazon, the True Label technology will pop up. It'll give you product examples that, for example, may save 50 trees upon purchasing.

McCroskery is hoping more people like Dennett will sign up, so he can finish the mission he's started.

“I want to build those tools to empower people to be part of the climate change solution,” he said.