We have now been on our sustainable living journey as part of IKEA’s Live Lagom project for five months and I thought I’d write a little update on how we’ve been getting on and the things we’re still struggling with!
You can read about the project here and also take a look at everything we bought here, to make our home and lifestyle more sustainable. Some things have been really easy to implement and we’ve seen the pay off almost immediately. Others have been harder to implement and I’ll talk about those too here in the hope that some of you can offer some insight!
Products we love & what has worked well:
Our GLASNAVA curtain liners have been such a great help, particularly with our one window that isn’t double glazed and was letting in such a draft. We were also invited to a workshop at IKEA where we created draught excluders out of old pillowcases and other fabric scraps. It has been incredibly handy to have during the colder months and the kids can use it as a body pillow during the summer!
I am so glad I picked up the HARTE LED lamp. I didn’t realise how much I’d use a lamp until I had one! This doubles as my desk lamp and night light. I simply move it from my desk to my night stand in the evening and often won’t even switch on the lights in my room at all until we need a lot more light. It is incredibly bright!
The LOTTORP timer/ thermometer/ clock/ alarm is one of those things that you think is a little pricey for what it is but when you get it, you understand why! It’s very accurate, it has multiple uses – I use the timer to keep track of things in the oven or to keep track of how long I’m spending on work, or even in the shower with the kids to time them! The thermometer is particularly useful in the winter, so you can avoid turning the heat up too high. I can also see this being useful for parents of newborns who might use a gro egg to measure the temperature of a room to ensure it’s not too cold/ hot for the baby. This has more than one use and at just £4.50 it’s a steal!
We cannot do without our rechargeable batteries! We had lots of them before but I got the high energy capacity kind for my husband to use exclusively for gaming and one charge lasts a really long time. I’m still using the low energy capacity kind for my keyboard, laptop, epilator, toys, etc and those do just fine. Having the STORHOGEN charging unit is brilliant. We have batteries stored in one place and charging in one place. Nothing gets lost and we know exactly what we have so we’re not wasting money on regular batteries ever again!
The difference in money, time, consumption & wellbeing
We compared our energy usage in March when we received our annual statement from our energy provider. Our use of electricity is down by about 2% and our use of gas is down by 16%. I suspect the reduction in gas usage is also down to me cooking almost exclusively in my Instant Pot and relying on pressure cooking. However, we are determined to work even harder this winter to keep the heating as low as possible and to layer up more instead of turning up the thermostat.
I’m a lot more aware of what is being wasted and often feel guilty is we’ve wasted food or not stored something properly and had to throw it away as a result. I strictly meal plan every week so we use up what we have instead of buying more and more. I will often pack kids’ snacks and lunches if we are out all day using the FESTMALTID lunchbox and bag so we don’t buy things that we could have just prepared at home.
What we still need to work on
Our energy provider has a handy chart on their website that compares our usage to homes of our size in our area and apparently our electricity usage is still higher than average. I’m hoping the pay off from switching to LED will been seen in our annual statement next year but there is a lot we can do to cut down electricity use and our biggest problem is leaving things on charge/ on standby. I work from home too, so the computer is on a good portion of the day, but it doesn’t need to be especially if I manage my working hours better.
Recycling is still problematic for us. We have been unable to place the recycling bins in our bin store as we don’t have approval just yet but I’m hoping that this will come through soon and that we can begin using those to separate our rubbish and dispose of it appropriately.
What we’re looking forward to
We recently attended a Grow your Own workshop at IKEA where we learnt how to use their hydroponics kit and VAXER nursery to start indoor gardening and we planted our own rocket! The kids decorated their plant pots and poured in the soil and growing media and they really enjoyed the process. I’m also going to (finally!) plant our coriander pots and other herb pots.
I am so grateful that we were selected to be a part of the project and the workshops – they have all been so beneficial and truly eye-opening. We really live in a time where we waste and discard more than trying to save, reuse and minimise. What do you struggle with most in your homes/ lifestyle as far as sustainability is concerned?