I had my "a-ha" moment with the iPhone on a trip to New York City last winter. Breezing down 95 into New York, traffic began to back up and eventually stall. With time on my hands, I looked to see if I missed any calls on my newly acquired gadget (thanks Santa!). About to check for messages, I noticed an icon labeled "Maps" and thought to myself, "Hmm, this may be helpful." Right there in my hand, with the mere flick of a finger, not only did my phone pin-point my exact location on RT 95 but -- here's the kicker -- provided me with real time traffic conditions along my route. I was able to see what roads had backed-up and, more importantly, which ones did not. One quick detour later I was back up to cruising speed and on my way.
This was a game changer for me. I realized this device was much more than a simple phone or flashy music player. It was a solution -- a very high tech solution to a very low tech problem. It helped me cut through the clutter, in this particular case literally, and provided me with the information I needed to make a better, more informed decision. Isn't that the promise of really great, useful technology?
When I joined Seventh Generation this past summer I was excited to see the team hard at work utilizing technology to combat the pesky problem that we all face everyday when it comes to purchasing cleaning products for our homes. If you're like me, not much makes it into your shopping cart without a thorough scan of the ingredients. I want to know what's in my cereal, what I'm brushing my teeth with, and what's cleaning my plates.
As it turns out, the ingredients in my cereal and toothpaste are heavily regulated by the FDA and other organizations. But what about my dish liquid? Here's the sobering truth. At this time, there is no regulation requiring companies to disclose the ingredients of their cleaning products. That's right. No regulation. So companies are free to load up their products with harmful, toxic chemicals. What's more, companies are not even required to list all the ingredients they put in their products on the label! I find that amazing and, not surprisingly, a problem. A very low tech problem.
So then, what is our high tech solution? The Seventh Generation Label Reading Guide -- a downloadable glossary of ingredients, words, and phrases commonly found on cleaning product labels. This simple-to-use application is available for your desktop as well as any web-enabled portable device. Imagine picking up a product in your favorite store and instantly referencing the ingredients you see listed on the label. Better yet, looking up the ingredients in the products currently under your kitchen sink.
Sounds like another game changer, doesn't it? It is. You now have a high tech tool at your disposal to cut through the clutter and confusion to make better and informed decisions.
Seventh Generation believes in ingredient transparency and encourages consumers and companies to support ingredient disclosure legislation. But until we have proper regulation in place, I hope you find our Label Reading Guide a useful tool in your high tech arsenal. Explore the guide and download a copy or direct your web-enabled mobile device to www.labelreadingguide.com.