Awesome idea for a journal, and I can totally help you out!
I consider it a hobby really, researching products and companies...
Trying to keep on top of it to the extent that I can spend my dollars on products that leave no harmful effect on the planet, or at least as little harm as possible... And working to only support companies and businesses of the same nature.
My standards include:
Trying to keep to things made/produced/grown in America by American companies. The closer to locally grown/produced the better.
(I'll also consider products from Canada and other "First World" countries just because I know they're likely not paying their workers 0.16 cents a week for a living and things like that)
Organic! Non GMO! - two factors important to me.
Biodegradable products! This is important when it comes to soaps and cleaning products and so on and so forth, which are going to get washed out into waterways and end up in our soil and so forth. For what it's worth I also use biodegradable trash bags. And I try to buy foods and products that have as little packaging as possible so I'm not generating a lot of waste constantly, and what packaging it does have - that it be recyclable.
I buy Recycled products as much as possible. And/or products that are recyclable.
I certainly prefer handmade, homemade, and small-business made products over large multi-national corporate products.
Second-hand items (One man's trash can be another man's treasure and can assure that much less goes to waste in the world)
And compassionate products: (i.e. no animals, animal parts, or animal excretions are harmed or exploited or used in any way by the company, or to make the product)