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Public Goods Review

What is Public Goods?

Public Goods is a direct-to-consumer shopping site that is membership based. So it’s $59 a year. Sign up for a membership and you get access to purchasing any of their products. They do have a two-week trial period in case you just want to check it out and see what it’s like.

So what kind of stuff can you buy from Public Goods? You can get personal care items like shampoo. You can get groceries, cleaning products, and dog food. They have pretty wide variety of CBD, essential oils, and vitamins as well. So, a combination of health products as well as everyday essentials for the household.

What is Public Goods as a brand? They’re really founded on sustainability. For example, they offset all of the carbon of their shipping to you. For every order that you place, they plant a tree. They also work with a few other kinds of nonprofit organizations; for example, expired food gets donated.

When it comes to packaging, instead of petroleum-based plastic, they try to use sugar cane whenever possible. So they’re really thinking through how to make shopping for things that you need every day a little bit more sustainable. So I definitely appreciate that fact about the brand.

Now let’s go ahead and take a look at the products I tested for the review.

Minimal Design that Enhances Your Space

So first of all, an overall commentary on the design. I love the minimalism. I love a brand that’s trying to get themselves out of the way and focus on the design. And I really feel like they’ve accomplished that. It’s designed to blend into your surroundings and not stand out like on a grocery shelf. So I think that’s a nice way to summarize their minimalistic design, which I appreciate.

Refillable General Surface Cleaner

Now let’s look at each item in turn. I’ll start with the surface cleaner. I really like the scent. I’m very sensitive to smells. And so a lot of typical cleaning products tend to bother me, but this didn’t really bother me so much. I think it’s a pleasant, not too in-your-face smell. I really appreciate that and it cleans up really nicely. It sprays pretty well. So beyond that, I don’t know what more you could ask for out of a surface cleaner.

Cruelty-free Hand Soap

Let’s go ahead and jump next to this soap product. So we’ll stay in the kind of the personal care realm. This is their hand soap product. I have similar feedback as the surface cleaner in that the smell is minimal. I don’t love heavily perfumed, heavily scented hand soaps, and I found this to be pleasant without being overwhelming. You can tell something’s there from a scent perspective. I liked what was there, but it didn’t linger, didn’t stay with me forever. The pumping action works well and I love the minimal appearance of the bottle. And I love the fact that it’s vegan friendly and cruelty-free, those are big points in my book.

Bamboo Wet Wipes

Now on to wet wipes. I feel like you can never have enough of these these days when you’re out and about, and you use the gas pump, you want to wipe down your cart before you grab it at the grocery store, etc. There’s just so many uses for a wet wipe, like literally infinite. Of course there is the sustainability angle, which is challenging because you are creating waste. But the nice thing about these is that they are sensitive-skin safe, hypoallergenic, alcohol-free, baby-safe. So not just for adults. Also cruelty-free and it’s actually made with bamboo fiber.

Bamboo Straws

Let’s shift to food and consumption items. I love this set of bamboo straws. They come in a little linen bag, and you get a set of six straws. Overall, I like the concept of a bamboo straw. It’s interesting. They’re all pretty different diameters. I don’t think that’s going to be a problem when it comes to actually drinking. And it also comes with a little cleaning brush that you can use to get in there and really scrub to make sure that the insides are clean. I like the fact that they’re reusable, and that they’re made out of bamboo as opposed to metal, which can sometimes have a little bit of a tang, a little bit of a taste to them. With bamboo there’s no real taste when I’m drinking.

Sesame Paste Ramen

Moving on to the food products here. Let’s start with the ramen. Obviously, you know, there’s different grades and quality of ramen. It’s hard to judge a ramen on any sort of truly objective scale. But I think overall the Sesame Paste Ramen was really nice. It’s not fresh. These are the standard kind of dried noodles everyone is familiar with. Four minutes, they’re done, strain, add the sauce packet. And I thought it was really good actually. Of course, if you go to a restaurant, if you’re going to get fresh-made ramen and you’re going to have a different experience, but for ramen out of a pack, I thought it was really decent. I enjoyed it honestly.

Garlic Habanero Hot Sauce

And that’s where the hot sauce comes in. I added a couple of drops (well more than a couple) of this garlic habanero hot sauce from Public Goods. And it was very vinegary, but it was really, really good. And actually the flavors worked really well between the two. I was really happy that that I got both of those together with the order, because again, that combo is really delicious. The hot sauce is preservative free, which I appreciate.

The ramen – of course you’re going to run into high sodium, but what can you expect out of a pre-packaged product that’s going to have a pretty decent shelf life? So it is what it is. That’s kind of the table stakes for pre-made ramen, but overall it was pretty good. It comes in a pack of five, so it’s a pretty decent deal I would say. They come out to be, I think, like two bucks a piece.

Almond Cantuccini

Finally, the cantuccini. These are really good. Definitely would recommend with some sort of coffee or tea. They are a hardened almond cookie. They’re designed to be hard and soften with a hot beverage, similar to biscotti. I like the fact that these are organic, non-GMO and all natural. I enjoy these; they have a really nice almond flavor.

Overall Ratings – Is This Stuff Adam Likes?

Now let’s talk about my rating of Public Goods. For the overall experience, I’m going to give them a five out of five. I mean, the only slight, slight detraction would be that, for some reason, there’s just a little bit of gunkiness on the hot sauce. It was underneath the sealed tamper-proof black plastic wrap. So I don’t believe it was tampered with, I think it was just something random in the manufacturing that just left a little bit to be desired, but nothing major. And so that was my only thing.

Again, I love the sustainability. I love the shipping. Everything was packaged really carefully, especially the stuff that you would worry about if it exploded, that it would leak all over. The liquid bottles were sealed inside another plastic bag. So I thought the shipping was a very good experience. It’s easy to sign up for a membership. I haven’t tried to, but I would assume that the cancellation process is easy. And I think the pricing is decent. It’s not rock bottom. There’s going to be the Costco’s of the world – there’s going to be other brands out there competing solely on price and will come in slightly lower on a volume basis.

But I would say it’s just a step above that. It’s not bottom of the barrel, but it’s not premium pricing. And again, the membership fee unlocks that lower pricing. So I would say for what you get, it’s five out of five stars in terms of value, because I do believe that you are getting a lot for the cost.

Overall, Public Goods is Stuff Adam Likes. The minimal design and the minimal brand that they’re going after is something that I really appreciate. Also the sustainability element is so important. To know that the brand that I’m shopping with I instantly get carbon offset in the shipping automatically without having to do anything – that it’s a part of their process already – is fantastic.

And planting a tree for every order is awesome. I think it’s great the way that they’re intentionally trying to use alternative materials to produce some of their plastic, because again we just can’t quite get away from plastic and have the levels of costs that we want. That’s the balance – that’s what we’re struggling with right now as a society, as a world, I think. So I appreciate that they’re doing whatever they can to minimize that. And finally, I like all the products I got. It’s crazy that this is just a very, very small sampling of their entire store.

And so I’d encourage you to check it out. During those free two weeks of your membership start, just try out a bunch of different stuff. Instead of shopping at another store, you could try Public Goods and have it come to your door and feel good about the products that you’re getting and the environmental impact that it’s having.

So, overall guys, that’s my review. I would say this is Stuff Adam Likes. I really enjoyed my experience with Public Goods and I’m going to keep ordering myself. So if you have any questions or if you have any thoughts on kind of your experience with Public Goods, I’d love to hear it because again, this is my experience and I’d love to hear yours. So thank you so much for watching. If you have any ideas on what I should review next, I would love to hear it. Please reach out to me and have a great day. Thanks for watching.


Public Goods is a subscription-based eCommerce site offering a variety of sustainable and healthy products at reasonable prices. 

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