I talk about my own little house quite a lot on the blog, but I suppose I don’t really touch too much on how I actually live in it. Life is busy – I juggle a job and a freelance career with What Emma Did, as well as my boutique, seeing friends and family and attending evening events. So it leaves very little ‘me’ time as you can imagine.
So I tend to live life in the fast lane, cooking meals for one, catching up on TV programmes whilst working away on my laptop, attempting large food shops to find I’m never in to eat it all, charging up my phone constantly and downloading everything I need for work. It’s safe to say my life is a quick-fire burn out, and I guess that’s reflected in how I live at my home too.
When IKEA contacted me about a Live LAGOM project, at first I wasn’t sure if I could dedicate enough time to make sure I took the project on board efficiently. Living ‘Lagom’ is all about little waste, more effort, and doing things the right way, hence why this name has been given for IKEA’s latest campaign. In a nutshell, I have been challenged to re-think how I live my life at home, and to take on a sustainable living approach. If we all have a think about the things we do in the home that are not classed as environmental or sustainable living friendly, I bet we could all run up a huge list.
Here’s my list for example (deep breath…):
Leaving lights on, using high voltage bulbs, throwing away food, incorrect meal portion planning, lack of recycling on a regular basis, hand washing and using up hot water, drying clothes on radiators, leaving the heating on, leaving lights on in all rooms, not making the most of storage, relying on electrical heat instead of wrapping up….
OK, so I could totally just go on here and bore you, and completely shame myself.
In a bid to take on a sustainable life, I agreed to join the Live LAGOM project with IKEA, and was keen to learn more about this way of life that I embarrassingly don’t spent much time thinking about.
The first step I took was to attend a session at my local IKEA store in Ashton, to learning about ‘living lagom’. Myself and the group were talked through the project, what measures are classed as sustainable living, examples of previous projects, and took a look at some home wear items which are much more beneficial or environmental friendly for the house. I mean – have you ever considered how much energy friendly LED light bulbs are? I hadn’t. I for one had never even heard of them before, and thought they were the bright ones that attach on fancy lighting set ups and give out too much heat. Turns out I was wrong, and you can actually get LED bulbs to replace your regular bulbs.
The second step was for the two Live LAGOM leaders to come to my house for a home visit, whilst I shown them around and talked about everything I feel I could personally improve on. I hadn’t looked into having a washing machine as I live by myself, and explained how I hand wash everything and leave the hot water tap running time and time again, to keep heating up the bowl (in the sink… classy I know).
I then take on terrible habits when I’m in a rush, such as blasting up the central heating on full and drying my clothes on the radiator. Yes, I always knew this encourages damp. But did I stop to do anything about it? Nope. Red mark against my name…
The amount of food I waste by not properly storing my leftovers is also shocking. If the poorer, less fortunate families in the world saw me chuck out the contents of my home made stew because I didn’t think I’d eat the leftovers, they would be horrified. I guess I just never considered storing the leftovers in size-able containers and refrigerating/freezing where possible. This is what happens when you live on your own. You get used to having no one to judge you, or anyone to answer to.
My bathroom storage habits have never been the best either. It’s a tiny little space, and I pile up all my towels in baskets, creating what looks like a mini mess. Plus, that is not the greatest for drying out damp towels is it?
I explained all this to the Live LAGOM team, who completely agreed, and with that, left me with the sustainable living brochure. I had a couple of weeks to select my items for the home challenge, before booking me in to collect the items on a store visit.
So here we go guys… I’ll be documenting my progress on the blog and revealing my personal tasks as I get through the challenge month by month, so do keep an eye out for post number two!