I get my fair share of them, and whilst it might sometimes seem like I agree to some weird ones, I actually turn down as many as I agree to. My criteria is fairly simple: either it’s got to be something that my fellow parents might like, or something that fits in with my own preferences. The only other thing that will make me more likely to accept is fairly simple: it has to be easy to do. I’m a busy father with a full-time job, and I barely spend enough time with my family as it is.
So when the people from Ikea’a “Live Lagom” project approached me and basically asked me to change my life permanently, it was a request that sat dimly outside of the usual fair.
You probably haven’t heard of ‘Live Lagom’ yet, as IKEA have only run it for one year and the first set of participants were all IKEA employees (or colleagues, or partners, or whatever shops call their staff these days!).
The basic idea of Lagom is living within your means – it’s sustainable living, basically. It’s also something I am firmly behind – though probably much more in principal than practise.
It was that very disparity which lead me to agree to take part – as a parent I want my children to learn by example, and looking after the environment is an important lesson to teach – even more so now than it was when I was at school.
As part of the challenge, IKEA have asked me to set myself some goals for the next 3 months, and chronicle our journey to a more ‘Lagom’ life. In return, they’re helping out by supplying us with a few things to help us – something I’ll talk about in my next post.
As part of this introduction to the project, the IKEA team have asked me to outline my goals, as well as giving a bit of an introduction to my current sustainability habits (or lack of). So, here goes…
If I were to give us a school-style mark for our current sustainability efforts, I’d probably give us a C+ “Good but needs work”. I’d say we probably do all the basics – we recycle paper, metal, plastics and glass; We have a car boot FULL of ‘bag for life’ carriers, and we avoid buying food with excess packaging; We try to avoid wasting water;
One area we’re pretty bad at, though, is energy usage. Our electricity and gas bills are unpleasantly high – a fact I usually put down to the fact that we live in quite an airy house with fairly old fittings. In reality though, there are a lot of things we could do better in that respect – turning off lights, turning down the heating, shutting windows, all of the classics.
All of which is why I’ve set my sustainability goals for the project as follows:
Improve our recycling efforts and reduce waste from our household
Reduce energy usage through more efficient use of lighting – both better bulbs and smarter lighting
Reduce gas usage through better insulation of wooden floors and curtains
Next week I’m going to contact our energy provider to find out how much gas and electricity we used in the first 3 months of last year, which should give me a nice, measurable goal to work towards in 2016.
It’s a big old challenge and one I’m quite looking forward to, so I’m sure you’ll be hearing more about it over the coming months. If you’re interested in knowing more about IKEA’s sustainability plans, you can read all about them on their website.