Living The Lagom Way with Ikea #LiveLagom

When I first heard about Ikea's Live Lagom project, I knew I had to get involved. Through an application process that took place at the end of 2015, I am so excited to announce that I was one of the lucky ones, along with another 249 families to have been picked for the project. 

An Introduction

So what is Live Lagom all about? Lagom comes from the Swedish phrase Lagom är bäst, meaning "the right amount is best; in moderation, in balance". Ikea have adopted this word to project a lifestyle of not using or taking more than what you need, yet not denying or sacrificing what you love.

It's an initiative launched by Ikea and Hubbub who have partnered together in this project to raise awareness about sustainability. Companies have a duty to push and help customers live a more sustainable life and without being preachy about it, Ikea are leaders in this field. You can read more about this pioneering collaboration, I can bet it will empower you to want to make change. 

The word Lagom is not only powerful, it also makes perfect sense.

How Will This Project Work?

For each successful applicant and now Live Lagom ambassador, Ikea have given each of us a very generous £500 to make the changes we need to our homes in order to save energy, reduce waste, live sustainably and make comfortable living choices. 

I am pretty enthusiastic and passionate about each one of us having a duty to do more for the environment and creating less waste, so I knew Live Lagom was the perfect opportunity to tell more people about it. Often, I feel a little uncomfortable going into detail on how we can all live sustainably as people just don't always want to know. But through my own actions and just showing what can be done, hopefully, people are inspired to do the same for themselves. 

In the next few months, each of us will document what products we chose and why, and how we are getting along with our new Lagom lifestyle. The results of the campaign will be independently assessed by the University of Surrey. Watch out for further blog post updates in March and May.  

Picking up my goodies in store with the lovely Charlotte:

What I Already Do

I pride myself on being pretty eco-friendly already and since we moved into our new home in 2014, we adapted a lot of new decors and appliances to fit in with a more energy saving way of living. Here's what I already do:

1)  All of our kitchen appliances are from Ikea with energy saving ratings of A and above, this includes our fridge, freezer, dishwasher and washing machine. Our fridge/freezer is away from the oven - did you know it they are next to each other, the fridge/freezer has to work harder to cool down and therefore use more energy?!

2)   When we decorated the kitchen, I didn't want to waste perfectly good kitchen cabinets yet I couldn't stand the way they looked. In the end, we kept the existing layout of the kitchen (to create less waste), replaced the cabinet doors but kept the cabinets and gave it a lick of paint

3)  We had our roof insulated to retain heat and warmth in the house and only use central heating when necessary

4)   All our clothes are dried on a clothes rack or we make use of the heating when it's on. We've never owned a tumble drier

5)   All the lights in our house are LED's and we turn off the lights when we leave a room

6)   Food waste is kept to a minimum. Leftovers are taken for work lunches or kept in the freezer for another day. We also try not to over-buy vegetables and fruits as they are the easiest things that end up in the food bin but we are not 100% at this yet and there is room for improvement

7)   I recycle everything in the house and go through the bins every week to make sure my family hasn't lazily chucked things in there that can be recycled (they do this a lot and it drives me mad!)

8)   Items that are in good condition are given to charity or I sell them on Ebay/carboots so that they don't end up in the bin

9)  I don't use the plastic bags for fruit and veg at supermarkets and try to buy non perishable items in bulk so there is less packaging

10)  We use rechargeable batteries most of the time, but still succumb to throwaway ones so this is another area we need to work on

11)  We try and wait for a full load before turning the washing machine on and use a 30 degree wash where possible

12)  I car share with friends when we have social gatherings. It's great that I can drive 15 minutes to a friends house, join them in their car and they drive the rest of the journey, or sometimes I do the picking up. Not only does it save petrol, looking for parking spaces, it's also better for the environment

Getting some great ideas from the Live Lagom magazine:

My Live Lagom Aims

1)  Create more kitchen space for better food storage as my cupboards are full of crockery that don't get used on a daily basis. This ties in nicely with point 2

2)   Reduce our washing up! Whilst the dishwasher is already energy saving, we use it on a daily basis at full load. I want to reduce the mugs and glasses we use so that we might only have a full load of washing to do every other day. The excess mugs and plates we have will be transferred to the lounge and into my new Ikea display cabinet and reserved for guest use only

3)   We leave the main lights on for evenings when we are just watching TV or chilling out. We could save some energy here every night by having a floor lamp with a lower wattage

4)   Further reduce our food waste. I have started to do top up shopping at our local Co-op, buying only what we need for a day or 2 ahead rather than for the whole week. Every week or so, I will do a larger shop at Sainsbury's/Tesco and try to go easy on the fruit and veg

5)   On top of doing more to live sustainably in the coming months, further decluttering and creating a comfortable home life is top of my priorities and I have picked a few items to help with this which I'll reveal in my next Live Lagom post, due in March!

Current kitchen cabinet situation:

I hope you will all follow me on this journey to living the Lagom way!

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