New Year’s Resolutions: #LiveLAGOM

Normally, I’m not one for making lots of New Year’s Resolutions, as I am not very good at keeping them! But this year, I am working with IKEA on a sustainable living project, called LiveLAGOM, which is encouraging the Pink family to make some good resolutions, and helping us to keep them.

IKEA, along with environmental charity Hubbub are trying to help people live a more sustainable life. It’s not about depriving yourself of the nice things in life. It’s about taking care not to waste resources, and not taking what we don’t need.

LAGOM comes from the Swedish phrase ‘lagom är bäst’ (the right amount is best) which means enjoying what you love, while not taking more than you need.

A few months back, I was very excited to find out I had been picked for the Live LAGOM project, and went along to my local store in Milton Keynes, with the other people who’d been chosen for our area. We had a very interesting behind-the-scenes tour of the store, so we could see what IKEA are doing to reduce energy waste.

Becky Pink on IKEA's roof

I got a behind-the-scenes tour of IKEA, which included going on their roof to check out their six thousand solar panels and rain water harvesting system!

IKEA don’t just want their customers to live LAGOM, they do it too!

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Our quest to Live LAGOM 

We try hard to be as eco-friendly as we can, and have long used reusable bags to minimise our plastic bag use. We use energy saving lightbulbs in most of the lights, and are pretty good at recycling. We have put in some water-saving measures from Anglian Water, and we use an airer or our washing line instead of a tumble dryer. We buy A or above rated appliances, and switch lights off when we aren’t using them. Our bedrooms all have thermal blinds, which are supposed to keep it cooler in summer and warmer in winter. We have reflective panels behind the majority of our radiators. Our house is well insulated, but I have recently bought a draft excluder for the front door, which has made a difference already!

Thea sitting in a trolley with a draft excluder

Thea fell in love with this draft excluder, and luckily it was in the sale!

So what else can we do?

IKEA are giving us £500 worth of products to help us LiveLAGOM, and I will blog and share my progress on Instagram and Twitter. Look out for the hashtag #LiveLAGOM on social media, as there are about 500 of us taking part. I’ve been thinking hard about how we can make the best use of it. After the workshop, we had a home visit from IKEA’s Angelina and Hubbub’s India, who helped me think about where we can improve.

I’d love to be more energy efficient, to help reduce our carbon footprint, but also to save money. So we will be looking at the lights in our kitchen, as they are energy-gobbling old things that were installed by the people who lived here before.

All of IKEA’s lights are LED now, so getting new ones will instantly cut our electricity use (and bills, yay!). I have also noticed that since we have had the girls, our battery consumption has skyrocketed. We do have some rechargeable batteries, but will definitely be getting some more.

I’m also going  to look at ways to make our little home office more cosy. Because I work from home quite a lot, and mainly sit at a desk all day, and therefore don’t move about a lot, I get REALLY cold. I am a cold person anyway, so sitting still is a recipe for shivering. I hate turning on the heating for the whole house, just so I can be warmer in that one little room, so as well as layering up the jumpers, I’ll be getting a cosy blanket to huddle under.

I want to use the food we buy more efficiently, to reduce food waste. Some weeks I am pretty good, and plan out our meals. But more often, we end up wasting food because we don’t have the time or energy to cook the meals we have planned. What is worse, we don’t even put the wasted food into compost, or our green bin, purely (I’m ashamed to say) due to laziness. Well that is going to stop. We have a compost heap, and we are going to use it! Even if it’s just the small mountain of teabags we get every day, it will make a difference. I am also going to use my slow cooker more often. Currently it’s buried deep inside our under stairs pantry, which doesn’t encourage me to use it. Ditto the bread maker.

We also want to be more creative with our recycling. We already recycle pretty much everything we can, (luckily Milton Keynes Council make it really easy for us to do this) but Ava and Thea just LOVE junk modelling, and can often be found rooting through the recycling, to find a suitable piece of cardboard, or tin foil to make something with. So I have started pilling up cereal boxes and egg boxes next to the fridge, so they don’t have to search them out. And it looks hideous.

Chaotic craft and junk modelling storage

This is an old IKEA unit we used to use in our airing cupboard. It’s functional, but it’s not really designed to be on display!

It’s a complete jumble of pens, glue sticks, bits of paper and card, finished art work and abandoned projects. It stresses me out every time I see it. So I really want to tackle that and make a more streamlined system to help us (me) live a less stressful life.

So a new storage solution for this area is called for, to let us access the cooking equipment more easily, and sort out the junk modelling supplies. At the moment, the girls often take their art materials into the living room, which make me worry about our rugs and furniture, (I really don’t want a repeat of this rug situation) and leaves me alone in the kitchen. So having easier access, and a nicer place to ‘make’ would mean we’d spend more time together.

Just before Christmas, I went back to IKEA armed with my shopping list, and picked out the products.

IKEA trolley full of #LiveLagom sustainable products

I went shopping with the lovely ladies from IKEA before Christmas, and these are some of the goodies I picked.

I’m picking the products up this week, and I’ll be writing more about this project over the next few months, so you’ll be able to see what differences it has made to our lives.

So have you made any environmentally friendly resolutions? I’d love to hear about them!

*IKEA have given us £500 worth of products to help us live a more sustainable life, but all opinions are my own, as always.

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Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday
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  1. 27th January 2016 / 4:05 pm

    How very exciting xxx

    • 27th January 2016 / 8:50 pm

      Thanks Kara, it really is! xx

  2. 26th January 2016 / 11:23 am

    What a fantastic project – some amazing ideas and inspiration. Cannot wait to hear more. I would be very interested in this as I also hate waste and want to do more. Thanks for linking up! Jess xx


    • 26th January 2016 / 1:04 pm

      Thanks for hosting Jess, it’s a great project and I’m so lucky to be part of it! xx

  3. 21st January 2016 / 7:08 pm

    What a fantastic project!! Brilliant! 🙂 Our nearest IKEA is Milton Keynes too! I seem to spend an absolute fortune in there every time I go!! We’re lucky that the council where we live now — and where we lived before — both recycle food waste and this is something we’ve been doing for a decade now.

    Plus we have a compost heap too. We’ve just taken on an allotment so, hopefully, this year we’ll be growing a lot more of our food. I can’t wait to see how you get on with this project — what a brilliant inventive! Thanks for sharing #HomeEtc
    Caro | The Twinkle Diaries recently posted…Styling The Seasons — JanuaryMy Profile

    • 21st January 2016 / 8:49 pm

      How exciting to have an allotment, Ryan would love one but there is a huge waiting list! Thanks so much for hosting, I love reading everyone’s creative posts xx

  4. 21st January 2016 / 1:31 pm

    I love this storage solution for junk to craft with…we are also mad on this too so what a great solution. So interesting to read about all the things we could be doing better to live sustainability and what a great project to be part of! Thanks so much for sharing and inspiring us all on #coolmumclub! x

    • 21st January 2016 / 2:16 pm

      Thanks so much Tayla, I’m really excited about the changes we can make so I’ll be updating in a few weeks! Thanks so much for hosting xx

  5. 21st January 2016 / 10:24 am

    I’m also a participant in the #liveLAGOM project. It’s coincided with us getting a new kitchen and central heating system…not to mention a projection of our energy usage for the forthcoming year. This almost gave me a heart attack it was so high. We’ve got the IKEA LED bulbs in place and managed ot cut back on water usage in a few other ways. It’s a great project. Good luck! #coolmumclub

    • 21st January 2016 / 10:37 am

      Oooh how exciting, I’ll check your posts out to see your progress! Hopefully your new central heating will be more efficient so the projection will be wrong. I’m keen to get one of those fancy thermostats that are controlled by your phone. We had a free home visit from Anglian Water and they gave us some water saving devices (I blogged about it here if you want to find out more. I expect all the different areas have similar schemes. xx

    • 21st January 2016 / 2:55 pm

      Thanks so much Emma, if it has got you thinking, that’s brilliant. I think we often do more than we think automatically but there is always room for improvement (for us anyway!) xx

  6. Agent Spitback
    14th January 2016 / 1:04 pm

    This is such a GREAT project! Living sustainably— that is something everyone should be educated and strive for. Thanks for sharing what you do – I have picked up some ideas from your blog post. Thanks for sharing with #abitofeverything

    • 14th January 2016 / 9:14 pm

      Ah thank you so much! I’m so glad you found it interesting, I think it’s really important and I especially want to get the girls involved so that it’s second nature to them xx

  7. 12th January 2016 / 4:19 pm

    I know I have already commented this post but I’m back just to say thank you so much for sharing this at #KCACOLS and that I would love to see you again on Sunday! 🙂 x

    • 12th January 2016 / 8:51 pm

      Ah thanks Franca, yes I’ll be back next week xx

  8. 12th January 2016 / 1:29 pm

    This sounds like a really great project! Looking forward to following how it’s going! #twinklytuesday

    • 12th January 2016 / 8:53 pm

      Thanks so much, it’s really exciting to be part of something like this, I think there are about 500 families altogether! So we could make a really difference! xx

  9. Tanya
    12th January 2016 / 1:12 pm

    Hi Becky, Well done on getting your family involved in this! We’ve been working hard on lowering food waste (picked my sunday roast clean, and then made stock – Woo Hoo!), but reading your post made me think about the fact that we haven’t done anything about reflectors behind the radiators yet. Time to get busy! All the best…

    • 12th January 2016 / 8:54 pm

      Hi Tanya, thanks so much for reading and fantastic that you made stock, I haven’t ever done that but my mum does, and it makes her soup taste wonderful. The reflectors are great, though it’s impossible to measure if they make any difference, logic tells me they do! xx

  10. Gemma @ A Gem's Life
    12th January 2016 / 12:46 pm

    What a fab opportunity! Even though I am in Northampton, my “local” Ikea is also MK so it was interesting to see what happens on the roof! 🙂

    Gemma xxx

    • 12th January 2016 / 8:54 pm

      Ah cool, it was really interesting and the man who is in charge is really enthusiastic and knowledgable. Asda next door don’t have any solar panels – what a waste! xx

  11. 11th January 2016 / 2:27 pm

    Wow – this is a great project to be involved in! It’s such a great idea to be consciously thinking about our carbon footprint – I don’t think I do it enough. Am looking forward to seeing the products you have picked!
    Maria recently posted…Tips for teaching your child how to ride a bikeMy Profile

    • 11th January 2016 / 9:09 pm

      It’s so easy to forget it, as everyone leads such busy lives. But I’m hoping we can make a difference and maybe inspire some others to do a little bit – it all adds up! Thanks for reading Maria xx

  12. Aimee Foster
    10th January 2016 / 8:39 pm

    This sounds like a fantastic project to be part of. It’s great to be able to reduce the money spent on energy bills and reduce your carbon footprint at the same time. I’m looking forward to reading all your follow-up posts about this x

    • 11th January 2016 / 9:08 pm

      Thank you lovely, it would be so great to save some money, especially in January! But even if we don’t, I’m still very excited to take part.xx

  13. 10th January 2016 / 4:45 am

    Sounds like a really cool project, and for a great cause too! I’m really into energy saving – mostly because it saves me money. My OH loves it when I go to work because he knows he can sneak the heating on while I’m out, lol. x #KCACOLS
    Jess Powell (Babi a Fi) recently posted…This Week #17My Profile

    • 11th January 2016 / 9:07 pm

      Thanks so much for reading, I’m hoping we can make a difference, even if it’s only a small one.xx

  14. 9th January 2016 / 11:33 pm

    What a great campaign to be involved in! I am all for reducing bills and increasing my productivity through better organisation! I usually choose things through cost over efficiency, but maybe I need to force hubby to drive me to our local Ikea (an hour away) to do both at the same time! I will be looking out for your posts about this! xx

    • 10th January 2016 / 5:33 pm

      Thank you Clare, we’re lucky it only takes about twenty minutes to get to our local IKEA but it can be expensive visiting as they have so much lovely stuff that I want to buy! We have started on our project this weekend so I will be able to blog about my progress pretty soon! xx
      Becky Pink recently posted…How beautiful snowflakes can help improve children’s livesMy Profile

  15. 9th January 2016 / 11:15 pm

    I love the sound of this project and cant wait to see what you do. It sounds like you already have some great ideas and I cant wait to see how you bring these to life. Good luck with the project, I cant wait to see your next update :-). Emily #KCACOLS

    • 11th January 2016 / 9:05 pm

      Thanks Emily, I’m so excited! We have started now so we are looking forward to seeing the results. I’ve even been saving my tea bags 🙂 xx

  16. 9th January 2016 / 9:27 am

    What a great opportunity, I look forward to following how you get on. With moving house this year we’re going to start making more of an effort to save energy & reduce our carbon footprint. A trip to IKEA is definitely on the cards xx

    • 11th January 2016 / 9:04 pm

      Great work, it’s lovely to have a fresh start and an excuse to go to IKEA. They have such great ideas to save energy and make life smoother! xx

  17. 9th January 2016 / 7:37 am

    Awesome! Ikea is my number one store as I love their storage solutions and just about everything. It’s my dream place to shop. We have all ikea furniture in our home and an ikea rug and my favourite are my ikea bedspreads. I’m just an Ikea nut so loved this post. 🙂 We are saving up for an Ikea Sofa next.

    I didn’t really know much about their energy efficient items so this is something for me to look into.

    Angela from Daysinbed

    • 11th January 2016 / 9:02 pm

      Ha ha a fellow IKEA fan, love it! I didn’t know they did so much to offset their carbon footprint, I was impressed. I find it a bit dangerous to go there though, I always end up spending more than I planned xx

  18. 9th January 2016 / 12:45 am

    I love, love, love going to IKEA. This sounds like a really cool project to be involved with. I’m looking forward to seeing the progress of your junk model area. I’d totally recommend getting to grips with your slow cooker I use mine if I know I’m going to be working a long way to have a tasty stew or curry waiting for me.

    • 11th January 2016 / 8:59 pm

      Thanks Sarah, it’s one of our favourite stores. The junk modelling area is shaping up nicely (took most of Saturday to do though!!) and the slow cooker has been dug out so I’m looking for recipes this week. xx

  19. 8th January 2016 / 5:22 pm

    Wow what a fantastic project!! This is a great opportunity!! £500 Ikea vouchers is just a dream!! 😉 You do already a lot to be more environmental focus which is great!! I can’t wait to see all the products that you have picked. Good luck with this project! Happy New Year lovely!! 🙂 xx

    • 10th January 2016 / 5:34 pm

      Thanks Franca and a very Happy New Year to you! It was really nice when we realised we already do quite a bit, but there is always room for improvement isn’t there! xx
      Becky Pink recently posted…Ava is five!My Profile

  20. 8th January 2016 / 4:20 pm

    This is a fantastic project and I’m looking forward to hearing how it all goes for you.

    We are awful at wasting food. I try to meal plan each week but sometimes it gets to a particular day and I can’t be bothered to make up what we had planned. Unfortunately in our area the council don’t issue the food waste green bins. Which is surprising as we have a fantastic local council.

    We definitely need to start making measures to be more green. Starting with putting Rowan in his cloth nappies full time!

    Laura x

    • 11th January 2016 / 8:55 pm

      Food waste is one of our biggest problems – it’s so hard to muster up the energy to cook properly after a day at work (either out of the house or with the kids!) So we eat a lot of pasta! I debated cloth nappies but couldn’t face having them draped all over the house, as we don’t have a dryer. But I’m hoping to be out of the nappy stage soon! xx

  21. 8th January 2016 / 2:13 pm

    Ahhh i love ikea so much. Even more so now. We’re going even more eco this year. More recycling, upcycling things, only using energy lightbulbs and products etc, using less electricity. We’re decluttering at the moment and donating so many things. Then we’re only going to have the basics. It’s good that big companies like Ikea are being conscious of things like this. xx

    • 11th January 2016 / 8:53 pm

      That’s brilliant Chloe, it takes a lot of hard work but feels brilliant (at least it has for the bits we have managed so far!) We are huge IKEA fans so were thrilled to be a part of the project! xx

  22. 8th January 2016 / 1:12 pm

    Sounds like a brilliant project and collaboration. To be honest it never crossed my mind to make goals that help us to become more environmentally friendly, but perhaps now I shall have a little think of some changes we can make x

    • 11th January 2016 / 8:57 pm

      Thanks so much Mary, and happy new year! I’m hoping setting goals will helps us keep it up, and hopefully we will be able to measure the changes and see our progress, to help spur us on! xx
      Becky Pink recently posted…How we (finally) ditched the dreaded dummies!My Profile

  23. 8th January 2016 / 11:13 am

    What a great opportunity to reduce your family’s carbon footprint. I really love IKEA’s products. Look forward to reading your IKEA featured projects in the future. #MITKSupperBlogger

    • Becky
      8th January 2016 / 11:19 am

      Thanks so much Christina, I’m really excited and have started making changes already! xx

  24. Kara
    8th January 2016 / 8:30 am

    As always your projects are inspiring and exciting. I look forward to reading more about them and being more conscious myself of all the waste we produce in our house. I am definitely going to create a compost heap in the garden and will be purchasing a Water Butt to collect rainwater as I know how much my boys love to play and water the garden in the Summer. I look forward to seeing how you’re going to make your old Ikea Unit into something more like an Artist’s den too.

    • Becky
      8th January 2016 / 9:46 am

      Thank you so much for your lovely comment Kara. I’m so excited to start and already have a bowl of tea bags waiting to go out to the compost heap! Xx

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