Shopping sustainably online can feel like an impossible minefield, particularly with big companies increasingly using greenwashing to market their products.
But that’s exactly where the browser extension Finch comes in. It’s an easy-to-use way for shoppers to make more informed and eco-friendly choices.
What is Finch?
Finch is a Chrome extension that ranks thousands of products listed on Amazon, all based on their environmental impact.
Finch’s team has researched the environmental challenges linked to each product — including its use of hard-to-recycle plastic packaging, water-intensive production, unsustainable raw materials, or contributions to planet-heating emissions.
According to Finch, the company uses a machine learning tool to scrape items on Amazon and rate their environmental footprint. It then awards each item with a score between zero and 10, with 10 being the most sustainable.
Why is Finch important?
Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the impact their purchase has on our planet, but many of us remain confused by the terminology and issues to consider in order to shop responsibly.
For example, one survey recently found that 61% of Americans view sustainability as an important factor when deciding what to buy.
Making conscious purchases can be difficult when environmental crises clash. For example, soy milk may look like an eco-friendly alternative to dairy, but its production is often linked to deforestation. Swimsuits made out of recycled plastic contribute to the circular economy, but they can also cause more microplastics to leak from our laundry into the ocean.
A majority of shoppers think that brands should do more to help customers make green purchases, but still, it’s hard to know which companies to trust. In fact, the environmental Changing Markets claims that nearly 60% of major fashion chains’ sustainability claims are untrue.
Tools like Finch help consumers cut through all the greenwashing and conflicting information. The company hopes that its service will eventually sway how brands market their products.
“If we can show shoppers that there’s an easy way to make better decisions without requiring a master’s degree in sustainability or spending hours scouring the internet, it will trickle down until companies will start feeling the change,” Finch founder Lizzie Horvitz told The Wellness Feed.
How does Finch work?
Finch is quick and easy to use. It is free to download as a Chrome extension, and from there you can pin it to your browser for easy use.
When you select the Finch icon in your browsrer, the app opens a catalog of Amazon products sorted into personal care, bathroom, bedroom, kitchen, laundry, and baby.
Once you select a product, Finch will open Amazon and display a list of related items — with their sustainability ranking attached. You can then select the most eco-friendly version of the product and complete your purchase as normal.