Did you know that even the brand of toothpaste you buy can take the world closer to--or further from--peace?

It's true: Every dollar you spend can make a difference. But it takes time to sift through all the news reports, advertising messages, and public relations campaigns to figure out whether a company deserves your dough.

The following websites are designed to help you quickly and easily determine whether the companies you do business with are socially and environmentally responsible.

Here, you can search for your favorite stores and find out the lowdown on their social and environmental performance. The ResponsibleShopper database features 350 company profiles, including information from the companies themselves as well as private and governmental organizations, corporate watch dog organizations, consumer organizations, newspaper and magazine articles, and news wire stories.

Green Pages Online provides information on 2,000 qualified "green companies," each of which has made a commitment to environmental and social responsibility. Each business listed here has undergone a rigorous screening process.

This site provides information on responsible investing including mutual funds, community investments (addressing the financial needs of low income and under-served communities), as well as how shareholders can actively shape social policies of businesses. It's pretty comprehensive: You'll find more than 10,000 pages of information on SRI mutual funds, corporate research, shareowner actions, as well as daily social investment news.

More contacts and resources on socially responsible investing. If you're new to SRI, start with the site's introduction: http://www.socialinvest.org/Areas/SRIGuide/

Author's Bio: 

Eliza Bloom is a frequent contributor to two "just for you"websites, including http://www.momscape.com (featuring tools to help busy parents achieve balance) and http://www.BestSelfHelp.com, an online catalog of the best personal growth resources. Eliza's book, The Bloom Method is now available online, in full text: http://www.momscape.com/elizabloom/thebloommethod