Guest Post: How to Review a Small Business (California by Train, Part 2)

Here at Travel Life Adventures we talk a lot about making more conscious choices when choosing where, how, and with whom we travel. We believe that consumers can direct markets and if we insist that Fair Trade principles are followed in our travel, that the market will have to adjust to fulfill those desires.

We wanted to share a great post today from the folks at Green Stars Project. Their goal is to create a green rating system for products and businesses that takes into account social, environmental, and economic impacts of the way they do business. Essentially a way for consumers to choose products and services that adhere to Fair Trade principles. This is an amazing way to direct markets toward more responsible practices.

This particular post goes into some detail about how the rating system is executed, but check out the whole site. There is great information there and hopefully we can begin to apply these principles to travel and tourism consumption.

The Green Stars Project

Since I’ve never really gone into it before, I want to say a little bit about how I research and write Green Stars reviews of restaurants, cafés, bars, stores, etc. I did look at Starbucks in a recent post, but smaller businesses are a different kettle of fish since you’re not dealing with a massive corporation and there’s often not so much information available online. Normally, a large part of the review is based on observations made on-site (this comes with the bonus of improving my detective skills and memory, or at least, perhaps, delaying the onset of senility). It may be helpful to think in terms of categories, such as sourcing, waste-generation, animal welfare, sustainability of raw materials, energy use, employees, societal benefit, and/or whatever’s most important to you. I’ll usually ask one or two questions that are relevant to whatever I’m thinking of purchasing, but avoiding judgement…

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