What exactly constitutes a "green" product?
BuyGreen.com has come up with what it dubs its "Green Standards," a system it uses to rate a particular thing's green-ness. When it considers what to feature on its site, it looks at everything from the manufacturing process to the toxicity of materials used in the item to the ways in which it can be end-of-lifecycled. Factors such as the manufacturer's corporate green policies also are weighed. One of the site's founders has created an algorithm that creates an overall rating for each product they consider. Here's an example of the description for an LED solar device used in landscaping.
AND Here's a link to the questionnaire it uses for suppliers. I think you'll agree they don't exactly make it easy to get a thumbs-up.
Allison Huke, president of BuyGreen.com, says the site is meant for EITHER consumers or small businesses. It launched in beta in July. "The manufacturers we have on the site have been very responsive," she says. Which means, of course, that some HAVE NOT been responsive! Incidentally, you can suggest products you'd like the site to carry, and the BuyGreen team will go out and suss it out.
My biggest disappointment is that there aren't more technology products listed. In fact, as of this writing, there is just one. A cool wood USB stick I actually blogged about in the summer.
I think that's more due to the fact that BuyGreen is actually acting as a reseller of the stuff it certifies. So old-fangled distribution relationships across the computer retail channel might get in the way of how much tech it can sell, unless it invests in all sorts of authorizations and certifications. As time goes by, it might want to develop a way of working with authorized resellers of computer products to point out the best green tech options available. (I know, Allison, you told me YOU intend to be the retailer. I respect that, but we've got to figure out a way for you to carry EVERYTHING!) You go!