Spending Habits Can Lighten Your Eco Footprint
A great way to reduce your ecological footprint is to shop consciously and to consume wisely. This means knowing a lot about the products you buy. Where they come from, how were they produced, and what they are made of. This is often hard to accomplish as not all businesses are forthcoming with this information, nor can they always be trusted when they are. We have learned to shop blindly in many instances, and sometimes this means we are supporting sweatshop conditions, or unknowingly consuming chemicals.
There is an option online that can help you to become a more conscious consumer. It is called zecozi and it offers a new way to go about your shopping experience. This is an online marketplace similar to the other big name marketplaces, however it is set up to allow you, the shopper, to make great decisions about what you buy. Transparency is the name of the game at Zecozi. Each seller on the site is required to provide detailed information about the product, and you the shopper can choose to shop in various corresponding categories. For example, if you are interested in recycled products, you can choose that category and shop to your heart’s content. Other choices include green, fair trade, sweatshop free and sustainable. Some items fit into multiple categories.
I recently interviewed Deana Zelenka, CEO of Zecozi and discussed the business model with her. She describes herself as being a “super greenie” for about 18 years. The business was conceived out of her frustration with the inability to find a one stop shop for green and environmentally friendly products. She especially wanted to be able to point friends and family in an easy destination to find these products without having to do so much work. Deana found that this ideal place did not exist. Because she sincerely believes in the inherent goodness of people, she also believes that they will pick better products when given that choice. From those ideas, Zecozi was born.
Zecozi was incorporated in 2010 and was officially launched in October the same year. Deana is excited about version 2.0 that will be coming soon. There will be changes to the site that she feels will make for a better shopping experience for everyone. While Zecozi is very much about sustainability, Deana is passionate about transparency as well. There is a lot of information about each product that is required from sellers. She wants customers to know where their products are coming from and what they are getting. The other guiding principle of the site is privacy. They do not want customers preferences to be tracked unless that is a choice that the customer makes.
Upon registering for the site, the consumer gets to make choices about their shopping experience. Each individual makes a profile which is either set to public or private. Customers can choose to participate in “shared shopping” which is the equivalent of shopping in real life with a friend. There are levels of relationships that can be formed on the site which means that you can invite your friends to register with you, and you can shop with them when you are both online. It is also possible to meet people on the site who you can put into a relationship loop and can choose to shop with them as well. Note that these are choices, and that the individual chooses how much or how little they want to share, and with whom. Deana states that the privacy aspect will never change. She feels that online commerce can generate plenty of money without changing privacy.
These Choices Can Lighten Your Eco Footprint
There are currently a few hundred sellers on Zecozi, and this number grows each week. There are over 100,000 products available on the site at the time of this writing. Sellers who are interested in carrying their products on the site can currently get set up for free. Sellers only pay a small percentage of what they sell with no up front costs for listing. So if you or someone you know has great products to sell, Zecozi could be the place for you.
Remember that the almighty dollar often speaks louder than words. If you are going to spend money on a product anyway, it makes sense to do it in a more conscious way. When enough people engage in this type of shopping, perhaps other businesses will catch on and give more opportunities for us to lighten our global footprint.