Live Sustainable, Live Lagom

We don’t particularly live in a very sustainable way. But every one of us has the inner desire and the ability to live sustainably. In everyday life when you hear the term sustainable, the thought that immediately crosses your mind is “a product sourced ethically and/or developed in least environmentally destructive way that I am going to pay a higher price tag just for the peace of mind”. In reality though, if you live right and use the right product, you can end up reducing your cost by living sustainably and using eco-friendly sustainable products. That is the motto of IKEA’s #LiveLagom project which basically means “just right”. Under this scheme, we were given £300 to buy products and come up with ideas to live a more sustainable life. We were asked to choose a theme for this purpose and I chose what any Londoner would choose “I want to reduce cost”. Specifically, I wanted to:

  • Reduce electricity bill
  • Reduce heating cost
  • Reduce food waste and if possible food cost as well

We went through IKEA website and the Live Lagom Brochure (which is an excellent reference by the way!) for hours to come up with products to reach our live sustainably goal. Finally, we selected 57 products and although we made some instant changes on the day of shopping the list represents what we mostly aimed for. So what did we buy and why?

Goal 1: Reduce electricity bill

A significant portion of electricity bill in any household comes from lighting. You can cut your electricity cost significantly by switching to LED bulbs. A typical incandescent bulb uses 75 Watts (indicated by 75W) of electricity to convert electricity to 1000 lumen (lumen is the unit of light brightness) of light. A halogen bulb would use 50 Watts and an energy saving CFL bulb would use about 25 Watts to produce the same amount of light. So that’s a saving of 3X per bulb instantly. Now, LED as the most efficient bulb is existence will only use 9-12W of electricity for the same purpose. IKEA LED E27 1000 lumen LED bulb uses 11.5W to produce 1000 lumen of electricity so that’s electricity cost for lighting slashed by 7 times instantly. Considering the fact that most house have about 20-30 bulbs throughout the house, this can reduce your electricity bill even by half.

Goal 2: Reduce heating cost

The best way to reduce heating cost is to properly insulate the house and insulate yourself from the cold. We found that the HAMPEN high profile rug was excellent for our living room. Not only has it changed the outlook of the room but our little one instantly started playing on the rug as it was so much warmer than the hard wooden floor and also has excellent heat retention properties.

Goal 3: Reduce food waste & cost

To organize and reduce food and food waste, we bought a number of items: different types of food containers, jars, stockpot, steamer insert, pans. If you plan properly, the food containers are excellent for organizing food and storing them in the freezer for later use. But of all the things we have bought, our most favourite is the VÄRDESÄTTA 6 litres pressure cooker. We had no idea how much we needed and would love a pressure cooked until we bought this one. Seriously, if you buy one item from IKEA, it has to be this! I strongly recommend that you go for the 6l one and not the 4l. We found the 6l one just perfect size for us and large enough to be useful for even in parties with several families. Lamb shank which usually take 2-2.5 hours to cook properly takes 30 minutes in the pressure cooker. Oxtail stew which normally take 6 hours is done in just an hour. Not only is it saving you time but also you are using 1/6 of the gas required to cook previously. I simply cannot recommend this one enough!

These are just our initial thoughts and we plan to write a detailed post on how we used each of the products we bought to live a Lagom life!

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