Live LAGOM; living sustainably with help from Ikea

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Ikea, LiveLAGOW, Live Lagom, sustainability

I’ve written previously about my desire to lead a greener life. Before I had kids, life was less hectic and I had money to spare. I could spend time ripping the plastic windows out of envelopes before putting them in the recycling and finding the money to purcahse more expensive eco-friendly products was easy. It’s sad, but I’ve long recognised that my life has changed, standards have slipped and I could do better.

Help for me has come from the most unlikely of places; Ikea. I’m delighted to have been selected from 9,000 applicants to take part in a three-year long project the furniture home furnishings giant has just launched.

The project is called Live LAGOM and is supported by sustainability charity Hubub. Live LAGOM is derived from a Swedish phrase Lagom är bäst. Roughly translated this means “the right amount is best”. The aim of the project is to create discussion and debate about living a more sustainable life and the small steps we can all take to make this a reality.

So what shall I do as part of this project? Over the coming months I will be using some products from the Ikea range to help my family lead a more sustainable lifestyle, and hopefully a lifestyle that is easier on our family finances. As time goes on I will blog about my experiences.

With a new kitchen being installed in the near future, I have decided to focus on feeding the family and doing it in a more sustainable manner. I’m going to use items that will help me grow food that I know the children will eat, such as strawberries. The kids can help me in the garden and this will improve their knowledge of where food comes from.

I will also use steamers and other items in the kitchen that will cut down energy use (see below). I also plan to use recycling bins to increase the amount of food packaging we recycle as a family.

The timing is superb as Helen, my six-year old daughter, is really beginning to get the environmental and sustainability message. Having read about the fate of coral reefs in a magazine, she is very concerned about their future and understands that we can all take action to make a difference.

This point was made crystal clear to me when I attended a workshop at a local Ikea branch with a group of other Live LAGOM participants. We were shown some steamers for cooking vegetables. The very obvious point was made that while cooking pasta or potatoes, you can use a steamer to simultaneously cook vegetables, cutting down the amount of gas required.

Ikea, Lie Lagom, sustainable living
My improvised veg steamer. One Small way I am leading a more sustainable lifestyle.

I know it’s blindingly obvious, but this was a Eureka moment for me. Many a time I’ve been cooking food for my family and found myself running out of gas rings while preparing the meal because I’ve used a different ring for each saucepan.

Ever since that session I have improvised while cooking vegetables. I have combined an old steamer with a saucepan that will just fit on top of it. The results have been superb and it’s reduced the amount of gas we’re using. That said, I do look forward to getting a proper Ikea steamer. My improvised creation isn’t the most efficient!

Tell me, what small steps do you take to lead a more sustainable life? Do you talk to your children about sustainability? Did you, like me, use to lead a sustainable life but find children and a hectic lifestyle get in the way? Please leave a comment, I’d love to know.

I’ll write about my adventures again in the New Year. In the meantime I’ll leave you with this video created when a Live LAGOM pilot was run last year.

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11 thoughts on “Live LAGOM; living sustainably with help from Ikea”

  1. Really interesting to read about this. I’m fairly good but the OH is shocking. I have to pick recycling out of the bin where he’s put it. although I do waste food because I plan and then the meals aren’t cooked. So I’m starting to just buy when I need it…annoyingly it means my Tesco delivery saver is wasted money because I never reach the £40 minimum level so don’t do an online shop.

    I do work for a sustainability charity though, and I’m nowhere near some of the people I work with and what they do.

    1. Future blog posts will demonstrate how I get on Emma! I think working for a sustainability charity is an amazing start. Oddly we’ve massively cut down on food waste by changing our shopping habits but do the opposite; plan meals and do one big shop a week.

  2. What a cool initiative! I’m getting greener as I get older – I’m a demon at recycling plastics and cardboard, and as I work from home rather than putting out a tub of each every fortnight we usually put out at least four or five. Neighbours must wonder what ON EARTH I’m doing in here.

    I’m a bit crap with energy wastage though – I undoubtably have the heating a little too high (hey, I’m Antipodean – my body isn’t as cold evolved as you guys), and could definitely be more vigilant with turning lights off, not using the tumble dryer so often, etc, etc…

    I shall watch your journey with interest!

    1. Thanks Jacqui. I hope my journey inspires you although by the sounds of it the reverse could be true! As for the heating, I’m married to a Scot and she is the one who always wants to turn it up!

  3. This sounds really interesting. John – and something I’m keen on doing too. I look forward to reading about your experiences and picking up some useful tips.

  4. Pingback: Waste packaging at Christmas; what do you do with it? | Dad Blog UKWaste packaging at Christmas; what do you do with it? - Dad Blog UK

    1. Oh yes, took delivery of it just the other day! Still not used it but we have LED lightbulbs throughout the house! Thanks for commenting.

  5. Pingback: #liveLAGOM and sustainable living; the story so far - Dad Blog UK

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