While waiting in line at the supermarket the other day, I succumbed to an impulse purchase. I picked up a new magazine called ShopSmart.
“No hype. No ads. Just great buys!” the cover touts. Inside are reviews and tips for everyday products. But ShopSmart differs from its parent publication, Consumer Reports, in several ways: it offers no extensive product ratings, it’s specifically geared toward helping consumers get the best deals, and its target audience is “women over 30″. Don’t let that target audience fool you — there’s lots of good stuff here for everyone.
The October/November issue includes stories about online shopping trends, Green shopping bags, how to shop for shoes, and choosing Halloween candy. I liked ShopSmart‘s ready references to the web. In one piece, the magazine reviewed five “eco-friendly, wallet-friendly” sites that are perfect for Blog Action Day:
- The Green Loop attempts to bring Green sensibility to current fashion. “All of the goods at Greenloop are made by conscientious companies who are committed to environmental stewardship and social responsibility.”
- One easy way for most people to make the leap to Green is to create an environmentally-friendly office. The Green Office is “an online retailer of recycled, environmentally friendly, and sustainable business products, school supplies, and paper.”
- Visit Local Harvest for a directory of locally-grown organic food. You can find local farms, community-supported agriculture groups, a discussion forum, and more. There’s even a Local Harvest store!
- For green-friendly home-improvement, take a look at Environmental Building Center. This site offers tips on how to go green on a budget, as well as a list of “kindred spirits” — other businesses with similar goals.
- Re:modern “provides products, consulting services, and resources to make good design available to the general public.” The company “encourages green practices as an everyday given, not a luxury.”
It’s difficult to judge a magazine after a single issue, but so far I like what I see. If you find Consumer Reports overwhelming with its product ratings and consumer recalls, take a look at ShopSmart. It could be a useful tool to help you save money.
Here are three other sites designed to help your personal finances while helping the environment:
- Ideal Bite offers “easy eco-living tips delivered in a short, sassy e-mail each weekday”. Don’t want to subscribe? Check out the tip library or read the blog.
- The U.S. Government’s Energy Star web site includes a vast library of tips to help you protect the environment while saving money. You can explore Energy Star products, home improvement options, and more. There’s also an Energy Star home energy yardstick that will help you gauge how much energy you consume.
- Consumer Consequences is an “interactive game designed to illustrate the impact of our lifestyles on the Earth”. The game asks you a “series of questions about your lifestyle, and as you play, it will show you how many “Earths” of natural resources it would take to sustain all 6.6 billion humans… if everyone lived like you.”
Know of other sites like this? Let us know!
Contest: Each person who leaves a substantive comment on today’s entries will be entered into a drawing to receive a nature print from photographer Andrea Gingerich. The winner will be announced on Friday, October 19th. (Details.)