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Find Guilt-Free Products Online With an Ethical Shopping Browser Extension

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Virtual storefronts are minefields of dubious labor and environmental practices. You may not know of a guilt-free brand to support off the bat as you’re looking for dress shirts or kitchen products (though looking for goods with a lifetime guarantee is a good start toward assuaging some of those environmental concerns), but a new Chrome extension called DoneGood is here to help you safely navigate to the checkout. It recommends ethical companies to shop with when you’re searching for products online, according to Co.Exist.

Download the Chrome extension for your browser, and when you Google things like “baby products,” the results will either come up with a “DoneGood Approved” checkmark or a suggested alternative. It works when you visit specific retail websites, too. For instance, if you’re looking at the Brooks Brothers website, you’ll see something like this:

DoneGood

And if you’re digging through Amazon listings, you’ll get brand recommendations to help you pick an ethical product. (Though buying from Amazon comes with its own ethical quandaries.) The extension will also show you discount codes, which may come in handy since ethically made goods can understandably have steeper price tags than sweatshop products.

 

DoneGood bases its approval on a plethora of feel-good characteristics about a brand, from environmental efforts to cruelty-free or made-in-the-USA guarantees to whether they “support diversity.” Compared to big companies, DoneGood says its picks are “cool people making stuff built-to-last,” “using natural materials and ingredients,” “paying their employees well,” and “preserving the planet.” It uses established criteria like Fair Trade certified or certified B Corps (meaning the company is a for-profit but meets certain sustainability standards) and independent research to find its featured brands.

You can download the Chrome extension or use the associated iOS app.

[h/t Co.Exist]

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This Just In
For $61, You Can Become a Co-Owner of This 13th-Century French Castle
Guillaume Souvant, Getty Images
Guillaume Souvant, Getty Images

A cultural heritage restoration site recently invited people to buy a French castle for as little as $61. The only catch? You'll be co-owning it with thousands of other donors. Now thousands of shareholders are responsible for the fate of the Château de la Mothe-Chandeniers in western France, and there's still room for more people to participate.

According to Mashable, the dilapidated structure has a rich history. Since its construction in the 13th century, the castle has been invaded by foreign forces, looted, renovated, and devastated by a fire. Friends of Château de la Mothe-Chandeniers, a small foundation formed in 2016 in an effort to conserve the overgrown property, want to see the castle restored to its former glory.

Thanks to a crowdfunding collaboration with the cultural heritage restoration platform Dartagnans, the group is closer than ever to realizing its mission. More than 9000 web users have contributed €51 ($61) or more to the campaign to “adopt” Mothe-Chandeniers. Now that the original €500,000 goal has been fulfilled, the property’s new owners are responsible for deciding what to do with their purchase.

“We intend to create a dedicated platform that will allow each owner to monitor the progress of works, events, project proposals and build a real collaborative and participatory project,” the campaign page reads. “To make an abandoned ruin a collective work is the best way to protect it over time.”

Even though the initial goal has been met, Dartagnans will continue accepting funds for the project through December 25. Money collected between now and then will be used to pay for various fees related to the purchase of the site, and new donors will be added to the growing list of owners.

The shareholders will be among the first to see the cleared-out site during an initial visit next spring. The rest of the public will have to wait until it’s fully restored to see the final product.

[h/t Mashable]

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holidays
The Plugin That Keeps the Internet From Spoiling Santa Claus
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During simpler times, the biggest threat to a child's belief in Santa was usually older siblings or big-mouthed classmates. Today, kids have access to an entire world wide web, full of potentially Santa-spoiling content. Luckily, there's a plugin that helps parents maintain their kids’ innocence through the holidays.

Created by the virtual private network provider Hide My Ass (HMA), the free software analyzes web activity for any information that might threaten to “bring a child’s belief in Santa crashing down.” In place of the problematic content, the plugin brings up an image of the jolly man himself. Typing the phrase “Santa is not real” into Google, for example, will instead take you to a web page showing nothing but a soft-focused St. Nick pointing into the camera and staring at you with judgmental eyes. The plugin is also designed to work for social media communications, internet ads, and articles like this one.


Hide My Ass

According to a survey of 2036 parents by HMA, one in eight children in the U.S. have their belief in Santa ruined online. Whether it's because of the internet or other related factors, the age that children stop believing in Santa is lower than ever.

The average age that current parents lost their faith in Santa Claus was 8.7 years old, and for today’s kids it’s 7.25 years. Concerned parents can download the plugin for Chrome here, though it may not be enough to hide every type of Santa spoiler: Of the parents who blamed the internet, 26 percent of them reported kids snooping over their shoulder as they shopped for gifts online.

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