Shopping around for the most eco-friendly version of something can be a real time suck, especially if it’s hard to tell whether it is greenwashed or legit. Amazon is helping take the guesswork out of eco-shopping with a new site called Vine, selling only products that meet specific standards for environmental friendliness.
In order for a product to make it onto vine.com, it must fit into one of these categories: designed to remove toxins; energy-efficient; natural; organic; powered by renewable energy; reusable; made of sustainable materials; or water-efficient. It will include products such as reusable diapers, bamboo cutting boards, non-toxic cleaning products, low-flow shower heads, natural cosmetics, and much more.
The good thing about this is that Vine has some strict standards for products. A simple label that touts the word “natural” or “green” is not going to get something in there. All vendors must verify that their products meet one or more of these specified green standards, and all ingredient lists are reviewed to make sure no problematic substances are included.
Could it get even better? It could. Customers can also shop for items that are fair trade or made within 100 miles of their home.
If your first thought is the same as mine – that online shopping is not very green to begin with – Vine is even owning up to that. “It’s a fair point that no matter how you’re going to engage in commerce, there’s going to be an environmental impact,” says site leader Josh Dorfman. “We’re not promising to be the greenest company right away, and we’re owning up to the fact that it’s not the way we operate across the entire company.” There is still sizable effort to be had, though, such as software calculating the right size box to be used for each product. Shipping boxes are also made of 95% recycled materials.
If you really hate online shopping due to the extensive transit and other environmental costs, Vine sounds like a good way to find tried and true eco-friendly products that may be available at your local stores, too. You never know what you’ll discover, and this sounds like just the beginning to a whole new way of conscious consumerism.
I’m thinking about finding some holiday shopping ideas on Vine. How about you?