Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Second time luckier, and living LAGOM with IKEA

This was the second time I’ve successfully applied for something with IKEA.

The first time was for a part-time job twenty years ago!

I hope I enjoy being part of this project just as much as I enjoyed working for IKEA through my college years.

The Live LAGOM project really appealed to our household, as we like to think we live to its main principle.

Just the right amount is perfect.

It’s not a case of scrimping here and scrimping there and everywhere.  For our household of three it’s all about matching a desire to live life how you want, with as little waste along the way as possible.

I hoped to be a little awkward (that’s an ongoing effort BTW), as a family that likes to think it is pretty frugal and organised, we thought we’d provide a challenge to the IKEA project of making families think more sustainably.

We live in a modern property, one that we self-built only eight years ago.  Because of that, my belief was there wouldn’t be any obvious, dramatic or immediate sustainability improvements to discover.

Things like energy saving light bulbs, under-floor heating, efficient white goods, low energy TVs and an induction hob have been in use here for nearly a decade.

Which brings me neatly to our first discovery.

Technology moves on.  And we need to move with it.

Who knew? Apart from everyone, obviously.

After an excellent workshop run at IKEA Birmingham - by our equally awesome Live LAGOM project leader, Kevin – we left for home with a sustainable IKEA product goodie bag.

This included a pair of LED light bulbs and adaptors.

Now we’ve already introduced LED bulbs at home, to replace electricity hungry halogen spotlights, but hadn’t really thought of them as replacements for the other ageing energy efficient bulbs in our home.

Our thinking was we have energy efficient bulbs in all our pendant style lights, and how much more efficient could LED bulbs be?

Well, a lot, as it happens.


Hopefully that quickly put together video shows both how much money we were instantly saving (1p an hour/20p a week), and also just how quick and easy switching bulbs can be.

This was a little bit of a shock to us, and our OWL Electricity monitor, which I’ve been in love with for many, many years.

This little thing is a very simple smart meter that shows the amount of electricity you are consuming, so you can quickly identify spikes and roughly your increased consumption as you switch more things on.

It demonstrated immediately there were little changes we could make, that could still have a bit impact on the sustainability of our living.

Then there followed a home visit with representatives of IKEA and Hubbub the charity organising partner for the Live LAGOM project.

This helped us further, and easily, identify areas of our home that rather than introduce massive change to, could be updated and have us living a more sustainable life.

So I’m going to have to try to be more awkward.

Which isn’t usually a problem!

The Live LAGOM IKEA project invited customers and staff members to apply to take part in trying to live more sustainably.  Successful applicants were gifted £500 worth of store credit to spend on IKEA’s most sustainable products, in return for sharing their experiences and ideas.