This Browser Extension Makes Shopping on Amazon a Lot More Sustainable

published Aug 7, 2021
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
Credit: minamoto images/Stocksy

So, you’re committed to being more sustainable. Amazing! Making small changes can make a big impact on how the planet fares, but it can also be a bit daunting to figure out what moves actually make a difference (and which ones do more harm to the Earth than you thought). 

Resources like the EPA can help light the way toward greener shopping, as can websites like EcoMall, which aggregates businesses committed to sustainability. The problem is, forming good habits is far more likely when things don’t feel like a hassle. What if you could reap the benefits of environmentally-friendly shopping without doing all the legwork — and, hopefully, make your good habits stick for the good of the planet?

In the near future, you’ll be able to, thanks to Finch, a soon-to-be-launched browser extension for Chrome that uses a proprietary algorithm to assess what products are made of, how they’re created, how long they last, and everything in between. Even better news is that it looks incredibly simple — the app breaks down the science behind each item you’re considering, then decodes why it matters, category by category.

Credit: Finch

According to Lizzie Horvitz, a climate activist and Finch’s founder, as informative as the internet is, it doesn’t necessarily make informed shopping easier for consumers dedicated to minimizing their impact on the environment. 

“On the one hand, you have these wonky academic papers which weren’t really meant for normal people to be reading,” Horvitz told Fast Company. “And then on the other side, you have these very well-intentioned bloggers who often are talking not in terms of data or facts—they’re saying things like, this is ‘eco-friendly,’ or ‘all natural,’ and that’s not really based in any type of science.”

Finch’s job is to make the sustainable shopping process as simple as it is scientific.For example, let’s say you’re considering a bamboo toothbrush on Amazon. Bamboo, as you know, is a more sustainable choice than plastic. But bamboo, “green” as it may be, isn’t the only factor contributing to the toothbrush’s sustainability. It’s also important to think about factors like the environmental impact of manufacturing, packaging, and transportation. 

Finch will lay it all out for you, ranking potential products in a given category, so you can make an informed decision and pivot if needed. Another cool service to take advantage of: Finch provides “Wise Guides,” which help consumers understand what factors are most important to consider in everything from tampons to bath towels

Moral of the story: Integrating a bit of mindfulness in your shopping habits can pack a big punch for making our planet a better place for everyone. Why not make it easier on yourself in the process?