It takes a while to make a house a home, so here I am in January, with new plans and
intentions for the year. I’ve been re-evaluating how we live. This year we are aiming to live a little more sustainably. I thought this was something we had fairly nailed. Turns out, there was room for improvement.
‘Lagom’ is a Swedish word which translate roughly as ‘just the right amount’; it’s about living simply, reducing waste, reducing the impact we have on the planet; using less energy, which in turn saves us money. For 6 months, as a family, we are part of ‘Live Lagom’ project a sustainability project supported by IKEA and Hubbub. With the help of the project I’ve looked at our home through fresh eyes.
Each project participant, has a budget of £500 to spend in IKEA on sustainable products. First on our list was lighting.
We are ‘low energy users’. I switch off appliances and lights with all the enthusiasm of a vampire. I am adverse to the glow of standby lights and lit empty rooms. A long time fan of the glow of low energy light bulbs, what could be more efficient? LED it seems, so we have switched. LED use less energy, 85% less than traditional bulbs.
Using lamps to light bits of rooms we use, rather than lighting the whole room, making corners more cosy. We’ve installed spot lights under the kitchen units, 3 small lights, powered by re-chargeable batteries, enough light to pop the kettle on in the morning. A spot light to light mealtimes. Rather than lighting up the whole kitchen.
Throws and blankets
This is our forever home, it put our stamp is an ongoing endeavour. I want to make the house a retreat, a place to feel warm and cosy. Previously, I’d relied on extra jumper and the boiler for warmth. This winter we are turning the boiler down, sitting under cosy blankets on the sofa and throwing an extra layer on the bed.
The ‘yarden’ is paved and space is limited. Compact outside storage is somewhere to keep trowels and seeds, plant pots and compost. Our IKEA shopping included growing kits; tomatoes, peppers, herbs. Planting starts in March and I will let you know how we get on later in the year.
In addition to some extra things for the home, we’ve made some other adjustments;
Reading the instruction manuals
OK, so I’ve never read the instruction manual for the boiler or the dishwasher. When we moved in we gave a cursory glance as to how things worked and carried on un-packing boxes. It turns out, I can lower the temperature on the boiler and there is a setting on dishwasher that uses a third of the energy and the dishes come out just as clean.
This winter we aim to save on energy, come the spring we intend to grow a bit more of our own. I’ll let you know how we get on.
A partnership project with IKEA and Hubbub all words and opinions are my own.