You couldn’t move in 2016 without hearing about Hygge. Everyone was into the cosy movement (especially bloggers) and who could blame them. Snuggling up under a warm blanket with a hot chocolate is one of my favourite things. In 2017 I’m moving on from cosy socks and candles (don’t worry Hygge I still love you) and looking for balance. This is where Lagom comes in.
Lagom = Not too much, not too little – just the right amount
Lagom is another Scandinavian term (what is it with those Scandinavians and their perfect words) this time from Sweden being just the right amount. Something is Lagom if it’s not too much and not too little. Did you all just think of Goldilocks then? Maybe it’s just me but as soon as I heard the term my mind went to Goldilocks and the three bears. It turns out the fairytale is the perfect analogy for Lagom. Goldilocks was able to find the perfect balance for her and Lagom is about having the perfect balance for you.
You can live Lagom in all areas of your life. From creating a capsule wardrobe to the perfect amount of beauty products to having a zero waste kitchen. Living Lagom is about finding the perfect balance for you. By not taking more than you need or making unnecessary sacrifices you can create a happier and more sustainable lifestyle.
As you know one of my main goals for the year is to live a more sustainable lifestyle. I want to feel confident I’m doing what I can to protect the environment. The fact that I could save some money is also very appealing. Living Lagom is about not taking more than we need whether that’s food or energy whilst not having to make big sacrifices. I think finding that perfect balance will naturally lead to me living more sustainably. With this in mind, I was excited when Hubbub approached me to take part in the IKEA #LiveLAGOM project. The LiveLAGOM project is an initiative run by IKEA in partnership with Hubbub and the University of Surrey designed to encourage us to make sustainable choices.
This project is all about making a few some changes to be more sustainable. For example using a split bin to help you recycle more or changing to LED lights to save energy. This isn’t about making big lifestyle changes which often end in failure and put you right back to square one. At the start of the project just before Christmas, I had a visit from the IKEA sustainability team. At this visit, I gave them a tour of the house and we discussed my lifestyle and some of the things I could change to be more sustainable. Then came the fun part. I was given £300 to spend in IKEA to help make my home more sustainable. Basically, I had my own supermarket sweep in IKEA.
During my home visit, I was able to identify 2 areas where the Live Lagom project could make an impact: food wastage and energy use. So before my shop, I researched what might help and created a shopping list.
I’m home alone a lot which can make cooking a little difficult. Either I cook way too much or don’t see the point in cooking a meal just for myself. I already owned a few Tupperware dishes and did freeze some meals for when I’m home alone but could do more. I made sure I picked up some food storage options on my shop to help with this. This area is a less about buying more stuff and more about getting organised. At the weekend I had a big clear out in the kitchen and sorted through all the cupboards. Now everything is organised and I know exactly what I own. I think the main thing that will make a difference to my food waste is meal planning. I will create a weekly meal plan and shopping list based on what I already have in the house.
A quick glance at my bank statements show I need all the help I can get in this area. Going through all payments made in supermarkets (not including any cash payments or what my husband bought on his card) we have spent ^£633.79 in the last three months. I had no idea it was this high and to be honest, I’m a little ashamed that the 2 of us have spent this kind of money. This doesn’t include the money spent on takeaways and going out to eat just supermarket shops. Being more organised and planning ahead should help to save money as well as reducing our food waste. So it’s clearly a win-win situation.
Being more organised and planning ahead should help to save money as well as reducing our food waste. So it’s clearly a win-win situation.
Another area where I’d like to save some money is my energy bills. We live in a fairly large 4 bedroom detached house so obviously my energy bills are quite high. There is someone at home most of the time and I like a warm house which doesn’t. IKEA suggested we install blinds in the conservatory (which is just off the main living room) along with thick curtains. We made sure to pick up some blinds and curtains on our shop. The blinds are already up and I love them. They have made the room feel cosier and we have been sitting out more. We also picked up some curtains but they’re not up yet because they need cut and we have to put up rails. These should be up by the end of the month.
Along with the blinds and curtains, we also decide to change the light bulbs to LED. We have only changed the rooms we spend time in so far. So that’s my office, the kitchen, the living room, conservatory and dining room. As I already said we live in a large house so have a lot of lights. However, I think we will be heading back to IKEA to buy more light bulbs soon. I’m seriously impressed with the LED bulbs. I was a little worried they would be a bit dull, after experiencing some pretty rubbish energy saving bulbs in the past. However, I couldn’t have been more wrong they are so bright. I actually think they’re brighter than the halogen bulbs we replaced.
In terms of money, my energy spending is less shocking than my food bills. I currently pay £110.53 a month for my gas and electric. This is a fixed monthly payment so I will be looking at my actual usage to see if I’m saving anything. I’m on the waiting list for a smart meter so until that arrives I will be taking monthly meter readings. For comparison, I used 4776kWh of energy in the last 3 months which works out at £278.17.
I will be checking in with you half way through the project and again at the end in 6 months time. Fingers crossed I can get organised and save some money, especially on those food bills.
*Disclaimer: This post is in collaboration with Ikea and Hubbub. As part of their campaign, Ikea kindly provided us with a budget to choose a selection of products that will hopefully help us live a more sustainable life. As always all thoughts and opinions are my own.
^Food cost monthly breakdown: December – £332.57, November – £184.57, October – £116.65