by Dawn Hammon
Wouldn’t it be nice to understand the environmental impact of products you’re considering buying without having to spend a bunch of time on research while shopping? Good news! Finch is here to help you do exactly that.
As a free Chrome extension, Finch works to inform you about products in real time, as you shop. It’s science. It’s an algorithm. It’s a rating system. However you refer to it, it’s a system of figuring out how sustainable products are in relation to ingredients, water consumption and human treatment, to name a few. More specifically, products are rated from one to 10 on an environmental-friendliness scale.
In all, the algorithm analyzes data from over 250 sources to evaluate six footprint measurements: climate, water, human well-being, ecosystem, waste and raw materials footprint.
In addition to rankings in regard to the environmental and social impacts, the extension also relies on customer reviews to identify how well the product works.
After combining all that information, products are given a final score. A rating of zero to 3.4 is on the low end and indicates the product is likely to fall apart or cause harm to the user or workers in the supply chain. Finch uses red in this category as an alert. Products rated with a yellow warning symbol between 3.5 to 6.4 are not great, but not terrible. The green zone ratings are 6.5 to 10, which means they’re some of the better options available.