Planet-friendly shopping is a new skill for many consumers. Making the right environmental choice takes information and coaching. Giki, a British mobile app for iPhone and Android, is helping U.K. shoppers make responsible decisions. Earth911 talks with Jo Hand, co-founder of Giki, about the path to a sustainable life. Giki users simply scan a bar code on the product to get a quick environmental and social responsibility report about the product and the company that made it. While the app is available only in the U.K. and European Union today, it’s a smart step forward that will eventually reach U.S. consumers.
Giki uses badges to explain the environmental qualities of products. “Organic,” Free from Additives,” and “Low Carbon Footprint” are examples of quick cues provided to the Giki user as they shop. A product with more badges is better. Each badge offers additional details about the impact on the planet, animals, and people, so you can tune your consumption to support your goals for the world.
Jo Hand shares how her own shopping is guided by the need to reduce unsustainable palm oil consumption — palm oil is used in thousands of products, often without clear attribution on the labeling. She also focuses on UK-made products and enjoys finding “hero products” that are the most sustainable and healthiest available. Her team at Giki, which she co-founded with her husband, has profiled thousands of products to identify their environmental impact. We discuss the importance of transparency at brands and the power of individuals making informed choices. Giki aims to expand to North America, but this is an app that we think can inspire a better world today.