Wednesday, 18 May 2016

What we’ve learnt by Living Lagom with IKEA

We’ve been part of the Live Lagom sustainability project with IKEA for six months now.

The project is intended to engage with customers, and working on the idea of not living without, but living with the right amount.

It’s designed to encourage people to discover how they may live more sustainably but without real compromise.

The plan isn’t to turn everyone into eco-warrioring vegans with up-cycled bicycles, but for people to go about their everyday in the best way possible.

Wasting little or less, consuming less energy or more efficiently and by saving time and money for the forever pressured family.

The Lagom mantra translation is that the right amount is the best amount, or that’s the conclusion I’ve drawn from my limited grasp of general understanding.

We were generously given a £500 budget to spend in IKEA on their most sustainable products, or products that allow households to live more sustainably.

I’m unsure if as consumers we generally think of IKEA as a store that can help us by more sustainable, but there’s a vast array of products within IKEA that do just that.

It’s a range they are keen on expanding, which they’ve done recently with the launch of the IKEA Advänbar range.

Max enjoying the Advandbar workshop 

We had good fun learning all about it at a recent workshop, as well as having fun building,and finding homes for, our own little terrariums.

So what have we learned, or earned more like?

We are now recycling more.  It may sound daft, but by buying a Humlar bag that made filling our recycling bin much easier, resistance to recycling has been removed, and as a result more makes its way to the recycling bin.

Our cooking is more efficient.  Our new pots and pans work really well with our induction hob, and we literally don’t waste any heat.  Veg is steamed over potatoes boiling below, and heat is trapped in by brilliantly fitting together accessories.

We’ve stopped buying batteries.  As a relatively modern family we have the common battery chomping devices.  I have a wireless keyboard and mouse, my son his Xbox controllers and night-time reading head-torch, but now these are replenished with rechargeable batteries rather the less environmentally and pocket friendly consumables.

We use less electricity lighting our home.  This project finally prompted us to get of the remaining non-energy saving light bulbs in our home.  And such is the improvement in LED technology some of our ‘old’ energy saving bulbs have been replaced with bulbs using 80% less energy.

I’ve created a spreadsheet (of course he has) of the energy usage change and the monetary savings we’ve made as a result.

I’m happy to share that will you, and it’s very easy for anyone to use who is considering changing bulbs.

You can download the extended working spreadsheet - complete with instructions of how to use - by clicking here.

Basically it illustrates that for a £111 investment we will be saving £84.85 per year (at current electricity prices).  By changing the details to your own, the spreadsheet will show how much money you will save, and also how long it will take to recoup the cost of new bulbs.

If you need help accessing it, or getting it to work for you, please do get in touch with me.

And if you're worried about the bulbs expiring before they should, and not really saving you money, then IKEA LED bulbs are guaranteed for an age, and as they include IKEA branding on them there’s no real need to retain receipts in the unlikely case they need to be returned in the future.

Overall we've loved Living Lagom with IKEA, we hope the influence of which stays with us for a more sustainable future.