“The happiness of the bee and dolphin is to exist. For man, it is to know that and wonder at it.”
UniGuide’s mission is to make it easy and enjoyable for all kinds of people to get information on products that are healthy for people, do not harm animals, and have a minimal negative impact on the natural environment. We do this by serving as a guide for consumers and as an ambassador for the entrepreneurs and established companies who are creating these products.
We donate 1% of revenue from product sales to animal welfare, wildlife conservation, and environmental protection nonprofits. In 2016, we donated to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). This year, we have donated to the Center for Biological Diversity, Farm Sanctuary, and PETA. We will evaluate additional organizations to support before the end of 2017.
In addition, we do our best to reduce the carbon emissions from our operations. When we cannot eliminate carbon emissions altogether, we pay to offset those emissions through carbon offset programs. In 2016, we did so through CarboTax.org. We believe there should be a price put on carbon emissions, and this price is simply a cost of having the privilege of doing business on this planet. The carbon offset marketplace is evolving, and we will continue to evaluate the optimal ways that we can thrive as a business while helping to mitigate human-caused climate change.
UniGuide is an early stage company with big dreams and ambitious goals. Ultimately, our plan is to make UniGuide a B corporation. B corps are for-profit companies that are certified by the nonprofit B Lab for maintaining rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. You can learn more about B corps here.
We do our best to promote products on UniGuide that are Earth-friendly, animal-friendly, and healthy for people. By Earth-friendly we mean products and services that are made, used, distributed, and disposed of with the minimal impact on the Earth’s natural resources and the habitats of other species with whom we share this planet. By animal-friendly, we mean products and services that do not use or harm animals in their creation (including sourcing of raw materials), mass production, distribution, use, or disposal. Products that are healthy for people include those that help your mind, body, and spirit to thrive.
We will be the first to tell you that we are not experts on all facets of sustainability, human health, or animal welfare. While we strive to learn more about these topics every day, we know there are many steps in the life cycle of products–from design, to testing, manufacturing, distribution, use, and disposal–all of which can have a negative impact on people, animals, and the planet.
One area where we struggle with the social and environmental impacts is shoes. While a product being vegan or not vegan is clear, a product being safe for workers and eco-friendy is more difficult to determine. Footwear, in particular, is meant to be durable, and many vegan shoes are made with synthetic materials, such as faux leather, that use chemicals in the production process and are less biodegradable than natural materials, like hemp. In every case, we try to promote the most Earth-friendly and still stylish and appealing shoes that we can find, however, you will find shoes on UniGuide, such as vegan boots, that may not be made from traditionally eco-friendly materials, but will always be vegan. Our dream, and we evangelize about this to the product vendors that we promote, is that all product designers and manufactures will incorporate practices into every step of their supply chain and product lifecycles that are safe for workers and help protect our environment. We love to tell UniGuide’s visitors about product makers’ social and environmental initiatives because we know our visitors care and so do we.
Ideally, every step in the lifecycle of products should be environmentally sustainable and free of human and animal suffering. It’s a tall order in our modern world, but it’s not impossible. The collective brain power of human beings is more than capable of achieving such an ideal. It is our hope that as we present products on UniGuide, they will fit this ideal. If we fall short due to ignorance, misinformation, or a failure to disclose information, we hope that visitors to UniGuide will share their knowledge and correct us, and we will certainly update content on UniGuide as we become better educated. Our goal is to be transparent and to avoid “green washing” at all costs. We pledge to continually expand our knowledge and to do as much as within our power to promote high-quality products and services to visitors to UniGuide while holding true to these values.
If you see a product or service on UniGuide that does not fit the above principles, please contact us. Likewise, if you are an entrepreneur or other representative of any products or services presented on UniGuide and you would like to see them presented in a different way or removed from the site altogether, please contact us. You can get details on how UniGuide is compensated for promoting products on our site by reading our Disclosures. The majority of the product images and the original manufacturer product information on UniGuide are the property of the makers of those products and are presented on UniGuide only as a means to educate consumers and to help promote those products and services.