Ethical consumerism for all

The Green Stars Project
(Pending editorial review)
United States (Berkeley)
Studies show that many people have the best intentions to make ethical purchasing decisions but find that it’s easier said than done. Two of the main barriers that prevent us from making ethical choices are a lack of time and a lack of easily-accessible information. When buying a new item (or choosing a new restaurant) we can rely on thousands of online opinions and ratings to feel more confident in our decision from a quality or value point-of-view. But the amount of research involved in making these decisions from an ethical standpoint is overwhelming for many people. The vision of the Green Stars Project is to have user-generated ethical ratings on the sites that we already use. Many organizations have attempted to construct ethical guides, but it’s a huge challenge to be comprehensive enough to be useful and the majority of consumers won’t go out of their way to consult them. User-generated content, however, can make it happen – just as the creation of an online encyclopedia (or an Atlas of the Future!) can become manageable if it relies on user-input. There are several advantages to user-generated ethical ratings over single-source directories. For one thing, it provides a democratic system for rating products and corporations, putting the power into the hands of the people. Crowd-sourced ethical ratings provide a spread of opinions from people with very different areas of expertise, from chemistry to law to social sciences, which will ultimately generate a well-rounded consensus opinion. Online reviews also provide an important forum for discourse on social and environmental topics. The Green Stars Project has two main focus areas: to encourage people to include an ethical rating whenever they write an online review, and to educate on social and environmental topics that lie beneath an ethical evaluation. For more detail, please see this post:
Submitted by

Dr. James Kirby (04 January 2020)


Dr. James Kirby is a research scientist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. He founded the Green Stars Project, the goal of which is to educate on ethical consumerism and bring a crowd-sourced ethical rating scale into our daily lives. With a PhD in molecular biology from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, James also has an active research career, mainly focused on the microbial production of biofuels from lignocellulose.

Project leader

Dr. James Kirby

Creative Commons License



Project Topics
Other Topics
Take me somewhere
Take me somewhere
Data Protection Act: LOPD.
In compliance with Organic Law 15/1999, of 13 of December, on Personal Data Protection, and the development of Rules of Procedure, approved by Royal Decree 1720/2007, of 21 of December, Atlas of the Future subscribers may be required to provide Personal Data, which will be included in a file owned by Democratising The Future Society SL. Such file is duly incorporated in the Spanish Data Protection Agency and protected in compliance with the security measures established in the applicable legislation. Subscribers may exercise, at any time, their rights of access, rectification, cancellation and/or opposition regarding their Personal Data. The subscriber shall notice their will, either under written form addressed to Democratising The Future Society SL, Ref. LOPD, Calabria, 10 6-3 08015 - Barcelona (Spain) and/or by e-mail, clicking here. Also, the subscriber shall communicate Atlas of the Future any modifications of their Personal Data stored, so that the information stored by Atlas of the Future remains at all times updated and error-free.