6 Great Eco Apps to Make Your Life Greener

By on 1st December 2016 in Blog, Press

Eluxe Magazine: Making time to consider the environment in your daily schedule isn’t always easy. Sometimes it’s just simpler and less time consuming to ignore your better judgment and throw that tuna can in the garbage or pick-up that cheap, drugstore lip gloss.

Luckily, 21st century technology can help ease your way into better, environmentally conscious habits. A number of eco apps for smartphones have been designed to inform and advise overwhelmed consumers who are looking to make smarter choices.

We’ve picked our top 6 eco apps that we think are truly are changing the way we buy and think when it comes to beauty products, clothes and sustainable living.

Read more here

Transformational Tech: Apps that are changing the world

By on 29th January 2016 in Blog, Press

Salt Magazine: Balu is a browser plug-in, and soon to be an app, which helps you make ethical choices when you shop online. It’s attempting to spotlight the companies doing business in the best possible ways, as the plug-in allows the ethical choices to jump to the top of your results when you search for products on Google, Amazon or ASOS.

Read more here

Balu’s Best of Christmas

By on 2nd December 2015 in Blog, Christmas

The best Christmas brands and products Balu has to offer…

Get these recommendations directly in your browser with our Chrome plugin

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Minimum waste, maximum festivities

By on 1st December 2015 in Blog, Christmas
Reducing waste at Christmas
Here are a few tips from Balu:
  • Minimise food waste
    • Follow the advice of the wonderful Love Food Hate Waste campaign
    • Put unused food items on Olio to share with those who live nearby
  • Minimise other waste
    • Check out these top tips for recycling wrapping paper - or check out this page if you live in London
    • If you have a real christmas tree, there are lots of ways to recycle it. If you live in the UK, a quick search (including the name of your borough) will bring up your council's options for recycling christmas trees
  • Prevent unwanted gifts
  • Dispose unwanted gifts well
    • Take clothes and toys to a charity shop if they're in good condition
    • Or recycle clothes with Clotho or Traid
    • Put unwanted gifts on Olio to share with those who live nearby
And here are some stats on the true cost of Christmas...
Amazon4.1m orders were received by Amazon on the busiest day last Christmas, the equivalent of 47 per second. The average adult spends £28 on food and drink that will get thrown away. That's £2.4 billion in total. Christmas CardsOne billion Christmas cards are sent 300 million crackers are bought You could gift wrap the Island of Jersey with the amount of wrapping paper thrown away each Christmas, of if you lay it out end to end it would stretch around the equator nine times or to the moon Christmas Tree Waste8 million real Christmas trees are bought in the UK every year - a six foot tall artificial tree produces 40kg of emissions if thrown on a landfill, compared to a real tree which only creates 3.5kg of emissions if it’s chipped or incinerated 30 per cent more rubbish is produced over the Christmas period Christmas Dinner20kg is roughly the carbon footprint of a single Christmas dinner. This means that the country as a whole will produce around 51,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions from food alone 37 per cent of adults said they received gifts worth an average of £54 that they did not want or use 1.5 million new items for sale were listed on eBay Boxing Day 2011.   ....And check out this great infographic on 6 facts on waste at Christmas

Present Paraphernalia

By on 1st December 2015 in Blog, Christmas
You could gift wrap the Island of Jersey with the amount of wrapping paper thrown away each Christmas, of if you lay it out end to end it would stretch around the equator nine times, or to the moon.

Balu: The ethical shopping assistant app

By on 13th November 2015 in Blog, Press
Adore, Reflect, Sustain: Friends often ask me where to go for ethical jeans/workwear/shoes etc and I’ve had my online directory for years signposting consumers to ethical and sustainable brands. Now though, it seems my work here is done because I’ve recently learnt about a great new app that acts as an ethical shopping assistant – meet Balu. Balu pops up when its user is shopping online and presents ethical alternatives to the products they’re searching for. You can download it on Google Chrome and I’ve been playing with it for a couple of weeks now. For example, if I head to ASOS dresses page, Balu immediately drops down from the Google toolbar with 21 ethical alternatives from the likes of Braintree Clothing, People Tree and Kuyichi (I have in actual fact recently bought two gorgeous new dresses from Nomads!). It’s a brilliant way to learn about the range of ethical options out there and cheeky reminder if you get carried away Christmas shopping. The app is completely free to use and new items are being added every day so it’s only going to get better and better. I asked the team why they felt the need to create Balu and they said: “Though many people want to shop in a way that doesn’t harm people or planet, finding sustainable and ethical products still takes extra effort over and above “normal” online shopping. When we are required to look beyond mass marketing and leading high street brands, and cannot rely on the most powerful search engines and online stores that we’re most used to, this acts as a barrier to more ethical habits. Balu changes this by requiring that you change nothing: while you shop like you always have, using the same tools, shops and searches that you’ve always used, Balu shows you ethical alternatives. It acts as an ethical filter over the sometimes damaging retail industry, taking the best that the internet has to offer and making it better.” The beta release of Balu for Chrome is now live and the team are working on expanding Balu’s reach to more consumers by releasing Firefox and Safari versions, as well as making it mobile compatible. Why not give it a try? Read more here

Balu: the gateway to ethical fashion

By on 29th October 2015 in Blog, Press
Shift London: Shopping sustainably can seem like a drag – having to be aware of what you’re buying and who you’re buying it from. Always. And, can you trust the people who are claiming that their product is guilt free? There is much to consider when attempting to live as sustainably as you can, and this is where the new Google Chrome extension Balu comes in handy. Balu, founded by Brian Spurling, is an extension – and soon to be app – that will allow you to do your online shopping as you usually would, but will prompt you with some ethical alternatives to high street brands. Essentially it acts as the good conscious that sits on your shoulder, guiding you down the right path. “Whether you are looking for nappies or groceries or a coat, Balu will give you a recommendation,” Spurling explains.
The idea came to Spurling during his stay in the US: “We found ourselves in Wal-Mart occasionally and every time I walked in there, I just thought it was crazy that my phone doesn’t vibrate at me angrily and say get out, there is a shop just down the road that is so much better than this! It just made me realise that there was definitely a demand for some kind of app that would direct away from the bad and towards the good.” When it comes to ethical fashion there is always the question of affordability and this is an issue Balu plans on tackling. “I want to have something that looks at the price of the item that you’re searching for and correspond with recommendations that are made.” In the meantime, while you are browsing ASOS, for example, you are given an array of recommendations, which vary from high street to high-end price range. Spurling is aware of the bigger brands out there like Amazon and Google and has not created the app to compete with them – only to guide shoppers. This is in hope that one day these big corporations will follow Balu’s footsteps in giving the consumers an insight to the ethical side of these polluting industries. This is only a small step in changing the future of the world as we know it, Spurling believes. “Fast fashion is very attractive and very cheap, but eventually people will realise that we can’t go living like that and they will have to accept there is a different way of buying clothes, that’s what I hope will happen. It’s just whether it will come soon enough,” he says. Read more here