Friday, 11 December 2015

Living Lagom with Ikea





A month or so ago I got involved with a new, exciting sustainability project from Ikea. Over the next 6 months, our family are going to be working with Ikea to live a lifestyle that's more Lagom.

Lagom is a partifularly Swedish word that doesn't translate exactly - but lends itself to the concept of just enough - neither too little, nor too much. Much like the Three Bears... As a family we're going to be focussing on the changes we can make to use less power, fewer chemicals and generally live more sustainably.


There's lots of areas you can make changes with Ikea - here are some of the things we already do that you might be able to have a go at...

Lighting: did you know that switching to LED lighting can save you up to 85% on your energy bills? I know! I've always been good at switching off lights, but now realise why M switched us to LED lights when we moved in to our house.

Heating - we have massive windows in our house, it's one of the things I love most about it, but it means it can be blooming freezing. Nearly all our curtains have thermal linings, we've either bought ones that were already lined, or added linings ourselves. Of course Ikea sells thermal linings, but you can also keep an eye out in your local charity shops and strip the linings out of some second hand curtains before stitching them into yours. Quick, and easy.  Also, those crochet blankets, patchwork quilts and camp blankets of mine aren't there to look at, they're all super cosy to snuggle under, all of which should enable you to turn down your heating.

Turning things OFF: Not putting them on standby. This is easy enough for the most part, however, I don't know about you - but I've noticed that our newer telly, and our Youview box don't have off buttons so are permanently on standby whether we wnat them to be or not. Ikea have extension leads that have proper off switches for each item plugged in that we'll definitely be making use of. 

Waste management: If you make it easier to recycle, you'll recycle more. Not long after we moved in, we popped a little blue bucket in our under sink cupboard. All our recycling gets put in there and we take it out when it's full. My kitchen is tiny, and having a box outside of a cupboard would mean I'd trip over it daily, Harry would unpack it hourly and M would get grumpy at us both. It's a simple thing - and when we were looking at new kitchens with Ikea (if only) you can buy units that have space for waste to be separated out as part of your kitchen. If we could stretch to a new kitchen, they'd definitely be on my list. Until that day comes the blue bucket is king.

Fridge bottom soup: When you bring your food shop home, or unpack it if you have it delivered. Stop. Take out any sorry looking veg that didn't get used last week and pop them straight into a big soup pan. Now put your shopping away. Next time you have 10 minutes (If you're like me, then I suggest just after the bubba goes down for a nap) peel and roughly chop the veggies, and a low salt veg stock cube, a teacup of lentils, some spices to taste and a litre or 2 of water. Bring to the boil and simmer until the veggies are soft. Blitz, season to taste (no salt if you're going to be feeding it to little ones) and enjoy those veggies for another week without them mouldering in your veg tray. M likes his topped with crispy bacon and served with my homemade flatbreads.


It seems that we're a little exceptional - early adopters of sustainability it seems. As regular readers know well - I'm keen to reduce waste, so already meal plan, use leftovers ruthlessly, and recycle our food waste. M is super hot on LED lighting which we've pretty much switched to already (our non LED lights are all CFLs), our heating is kept nice and low - which means my crochet blankets get suggled under regularly. We grow lots of our own veggies, have a couple of fruit trees, and a gooseberry bush. To find out where we can work on with Ikea is proving to be a challenge. There's little things we could do, but to find something fundamental we could change is trickier than we'd hoped.

M is monitoring our energy usage at the moment so that we can measure change - and we're in the process of trying to put together our shopping list. Watch this space for regular updates on our journey to live a more LAGOM lifestyle. Just call me Mama bear. If you're interested in this project, do follow the #LiveLAGOM hashtag on Social Media and keep an eye out for a few more posts from me over the coming months.

If you have any suggestions for ways you can think of that we could be more sustainable that'd be terrific - please add them in the comments below.

3 comments:

Smartie said...

We do most of the things you have mentioned above...except for the heating! I do have my heating on more than perhaps I 'should', but part of my health problems mean I really struggle to keep warm! So I concede on that one that health comes first.

One thing I'd add to your list is clothing though. There's quite a trend these days for disposable fashion, and I know of lots of people who just throw out old clothes. I'm a strong believer in reusing clothes - passing them to a charity shop if they are good enough, or refashioning them in some way if not (lots of old jeans too holey for charity helped make great guide crafts!). Not to mention foxing something if its broken rather than throwing it away. And I do like a good bargain dress in a charity shop myself...

Smartie said...

We do most of the things you have mentioned above...except for the heating! I do have my heating on more than perhaps I 'should', but part of my health problems mean I really struggle to keep warm! So I concede on that one that health comes first.

One thing I'd add to your list is clothing though. There's quite a trend these days for disposable fashion, and I know of lots of people who just throw out old clothes. I'm a strong believer in reusing clothes - passing them to a charity shop if they are good enough, or refashioning them in some way if not (lots of old jeans too holey for charity helped make great guide crafts!). Not to mention foxing something if its broken rather than throwing it away. And I do like a good bargain dress in a charity shop myself...

lisa LovelyAppetite said...

I love this idea. Never knew there was a word for it! How cool. Will definitely be looking forward to your hints and tips. I think it's something we all know we should strive for but convenience gets in the way.
xxx

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