Look Who’s on GoodGuide: Josh Dorfman, aka Lazy Environmentalist

GoodGuide’s growth over the past few months has been amazing to watch, and nothing reaffirms what we’re doing more than the support of individuals who have dedicated their careers to environmentalism. It’s with great pleasure that I introduce one of the newest members of the GoodGuide community, Josh Dorfman, the Lazy Environmentalist. I also want to take this moment to officially welcome Josh to the GoodGuide team, where he’ll be leading our marketing efforts. We sat down for a quick chat about how his first month has gone.

GG: What inspired you to come to GoodGuide? Do you think GoodGuide can supercharge the work you’ve done up until now? How so?

JD: Two things inspired me. First, it’s the mission. I love coming to work everyday to focus on building a more transparent world in which consumers can quickly and easily make shopping decisions that are aligned with their deepest values about the planet and society. Second, it’s GoodGuide’s team. This is a highly intelligent, motivated and optimistic group that moves quickly. I thrive off of that energy.

Certainly, I believe GoodGuide can supercharge my work. Both brands aim to make it easy and seamless for consumers to make healthier, greener choices. The difference between the two is that I don’t have a team of scientists and engineers backing up my work at the Lazy E like we have here at GoodGuide. To successfully influence people’s shopping decisions, you must possess tremendous credibility, which is one reason why I think GoodGuide can have a transformational impact on our culture. As much as I wish it were so, I don’t think I could say the same about the Lazy E.

GG: So you’ve been here about a month. What have you learned?

JD: It’s steadily occurred to me in the time I’ve been here that GoodGuide represents what I would describe as Green Living 3.0. Let me quickly explain:

Green Living 1.0 was the era in which green products existed but often succumbed to what I refer to as the “Burlap Sack Theory” – namely that in order to be green they had to be uncomfortable and devoid of style. Timeframe: from the first Earth Day to roughly around the release of Al Gore’s movie “An Inconvenient Truth.” Living green frequently meant compromising one’s lifestyle.

Green Living 2.0 is the era we’ve been experiencing for about the past five years. During this time, green products have also started to look good and work well. Choosing them enables people to live green often without compromising their lifestyle.

Green Living 3.0 is what I believe we’re about to enter. Most notable about this era will be the ability for consumers to instantaneously evaluate every consumer product on the store shelf based on its environmental credentials. This level of transparency will enable consumers to make environmentally conscious choices across every aspect of their lifestyle. I believe the implications are profound.

GG: The words “sustainability” and “corporate responsibility” are popping up more and more these days. What are your thoughts on how these concepts are redefining the way companies operate?

JD: I think these concepts inspire operational change only around the periphery. What’s truly driving environmental and social change inside companies these days is the growing recognition that doing what’s right is frequently the best way improve financial performance whether in the form of increased savings or increased sales. “Do good, make money.” To me, this is the concept that’s most compelling and possesses the greatest potential to redefine how companies operate.

Consumers are playing a key role in this equation too. As we increasingly identify and gravitate toward products that possess healthy, green and ethical attributes, we send a clear signal to companies that their greatest potential for profit is tied to producing products that match our values.

GG: Using your Lazy Environmentalist hat, describe GoodGuide in ten words.

JD: The most convenient and informative shopping tool for conscious consumers.

GG: If you’re so lazy, how were you able to move all the way to California?

JD: First, I had my girlfriend pack us up, so that took care of the heavy lifting. Second we drove cross-country in a 2011 VW Jetta Sportwagen TDI, which averages well over 30 miles per gallon even when you’re driving through the desert at 100 mph. Making green fast and fun is a great way to get lazy people to do it.

About Dara O'Rourke

Associate Professor at UC Berkeley and Co-Founder of GoodGuide.
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2 Responses to Look Who’s on GoodGuide: Josh Dorfman, aka Lazy Environmentalist

  1. Pingback: Green Living 3.0 « Seeds For Thought by William Scott

  2. Bulk says:

    Great post. I’m glad that there are sites like Goodguide that can help consumers make purchasing decisions. As a consumer myself, I tend to google a brand first and see reviews on them before I purchase so I don’t waste any money on a product i might just get dissatisfied with and sites like these really help in my decision making.

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