Buycott, Shop Your Conscience

Filed in National by on May 20, 2013

Have you heard about this app? Buycott installed on your smartphone can scan products you intend to buy and give you a rundown of that product’s corporate history. It can also give you data on what those corporations do with the money they earn from your purchases. Interesting, right? For people who are trying not to buy anything from Koch Industries, for example, data from the scans you take can help you leave their stuff on the shelf.

This app goes a step further, and lets you join official boycott campaigns, so your scan will also tell you about products that should be left on the shelf for those campaigns. The whole thing is intriguing, because if you want to vote with your dollars, it can be tough to either remember what you are supposed to boycott OR have enough information from the basic packaging to know if this product is connected to a firm or cause you want to disincentivize.

This app is available for Android or iOS devices. (Oops, seems that the Android app was pulled. Apparently this announcement went viral a few days back and the Android app had crashing issues.) I have it installed on my phone but haven’t had a chance to use it yet, so I’m not certain how well it works or how extensive its database is. One thing I do predict, though, is that scanning everything in my grocery cart will be something of a drag. But still. Is this something you would use?

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