So we have reached the end of the Live LAGOM project that we were taking part in with Ikea. How have we done? Let’s take a look:
Final results and savings
The project has been really successful for us from a savings point of view. We had a look at our electricity bill before installing the LED bulbs and after, got a price comparison and worked out how much we had saved. This worked out at a saving of €12 a month in electricity costs. That is €144 a year. And that is just from the light bulb saving! We do have the heating on less too, but we can’t work out an accurate cost saving on that, except to say it is definitely less thanks to the rugs and curtain liners.
Food waste was our other big focus area. We are happy to report we managed to drastically reduce this. Looking at a one week shop, the only things that got thrown out due to waste were some small pieces of broccoli stalk as the bunnies had too much veg, and we didn’t have enough to make soup. These stalks went into the compost bin so we will still get benefit from them in the long run! We spend an average of €30 a week on food, so from a money point of view, very little of this is now being wasted. Less food waste is going into the compost bin, it might be getting hungry at this stage!
Reflections and learnings
We discovered that the energy saving was very easy once the switches were made. Changing products was nearly all that was required. We already turn off lights when not in rooms, and leave nothing on stand by etc.
We learned that the food waste was more of a challenge. We had to really plan what we were going to do with the food, and make sure to be using up all the food in the presses and fridge before it spoiled. We did find that once we learned what system worked for us, then we could get into the good habit of using it. Once that habit was formed then it was quite simple to go along with, and find that the changes were easier and easier to maintain.
Our favourite part? What could be better?
I think planning the shopping list and then the personal shopping trip with our awesome Lagom leader Sarah was a really fantastic part of the experience. Going through our house and thinking of focus areas we wanted to make changes in and finding products that would work for making changes for the better was really great. It was really interesting to look at Ikea products with new eyes. We tried to ensure that everything we bought would have an impact for the better in our house.
I think the only thing we would suggest at being better would be less packaging. All the light bulbs we got had a lot of plastic. It can go into recycling, but it is still a lot of plastic waste. We are really trying to reduce our household waste. You can see from our collection day photo below, there really was a lot of packaging – even Flopsy the bunny was inspecting it all and shocked at how much!
Which products worked best and which didn’t?
Of the products we got the lighting was one of the best changes over all, as we loved the changes that the LED’s made. The wardrobe and under counter kitchen lighting in particular. They really made a difference in lighting up the rooms.
The lamps instead of overhead lights made such a difference too. We even used some of the LED strip lights in a custom PC build using a IKEA SKOGSTA storage crate, and up-cycled a whiskey bottle box into a lamp. These were really fun up-cycling projects!
The curtain liner and rug for insulation have been great, really doing their job fantastically. The curtain liners also work to keep the sun out too, preventing the room from overheating as we move into the warmer months.
We set up a recycling station outside in the garden for all our glass. We had nowhere in the house for this, so we put the containers outside. We are in the process of building a little shelter for them to protect them from the elements. We are building this from discarded pallets, so recycling wood to build it too! Having these containers out here has really tidied up a messy corner and made it look so much better, and so much easier to recycle too though.
I think our only product not being used as intended is the BOHOLMEN washing up bowl and rinsing basket. We found it was just that bit too small for us to use for washing, so we just keep using the dishwasher instead. But we set it up as a mini recycling center for our coffee grounds. It is in the press under the coffee machine and the used coffee grinds go into it so that they can be used for the garden – they make a really good fertilizer. So it is one less thing going into the bin and one more thing helping our garden!
What will you do next?
Our next focus is to work on our recycling. It is great that we do so much, but we want to reduce that even more. It will take some time, but we want to try to reduce our household waste to as close to none as possible. We will do it in stages, so it seems more manageable. We also want to try reduce our energy usage even more so will ensure that any appliances we buy or have to replace from now on are high A rated. We also want to keep spreading the word of Living Lagom, we really have seen the impact that just a few simple changes can make. It doesn’t take much effort, and impact it has on your home and life is great.
We also want to get our garden back on track. We had a bit of a rough year last year so it has fallen by the wayside. So we want to focus on getting it reorganised, and growing our own veg, herbs and salads again.
Who would you recommend the project to?
Everyone! As we said above, the changes are so easy to implement – changing over to LED bulbs, putting down rugs, concentrating on not wasting food etc. Yet the savings are drastic. We saved over 20% on our overall energy costs alone during the winter months, equating to a monetary saving of at least €144 a year. Making some of the changes just need to be done once in many cases, such as the bulbs, as they have a life of over 20,000 hours.
We couldn’t be happier to have been part of the project. We met such a lovely group of people, go so much inspiration, and have made some changes we know we will be able to keep up for life. The impact of the project will stay with us forever, and we would recommend it to all our family and friends, and indeed just anyone reading this. This may be the end of the Live Lagom project for us, but is certainly not the end of sustainable living for us – Living Lagom will remain part of our lives forever!