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Beagle Button – helping us shop better through our browser

It’s hard to be a responsible citizen nowadays. No matter how hard we try, there’s always a chance that we’ll buy the wrong product by selecting something which can harm the environment. Here’s where the Beagle Button comes in. Rather like those coupon finding browser extensions that litter the landscape, the Beagle tool is there to help us make better buying decisions. Only it’s not about saving money, but saving the planet. It sits in the browser and pops up when it finds a better – i.e. more sustainable – buying option than the one your about to make.

This all sounds jolly good, but of course this kind of tool is only as effective as its selection of alternatives. We couldn’t try it out, because it appears there’s a waiting list. So from the looks of it, the company is still in the early startup mode, trying to build its list of merchants. Which can’t be easy. There’s also the matter of the business model, as they grab a small commission off each transaction. Anyway, we’re going to give them the benefit of the doubt, and assume their ethical foundation is strong enough to withstand temptation. Hope we’re not wrong.

“The problem is that it’s hard to keep those sea turtles in mind when we’re browsing online, being bombarded with messages about something that will make our elbows look cute, or will definitely definitely make our baby sleep better. That’s where the Beagle Button comes in. It remembers the sea turtles so you don’t have to. You can shop as normal, and we’ll show you sustainable alternatives for things you already need to buy, when you want to buy them.”

Nigel is the managing editor of the Red Ferret, as well as a freelance columnist for the Sunday Times newspaper in London. Loves tech and fancies himself as a bit of a futurist, but then don’t we all?

Nigel – who has written posts on The Red Ferret Journal.


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