Lifestyle: Live Lagom Sustainable Living Update

minimal house
You may remember my blog post a couple of months ago entitled Live Lagom – a project I am taking part in with IKEA, all about living sustainably. Right back in my first blog post, I mentioned about moving into my own home, and how easy it is to become unaware of trying to live a sustainable life. I don’t mean to obsessively become aware of everything little thing you do in the house, but if you think long and hard about it, there’s a lot of things we could do that we don’t.

My bug bears were the following, in which I explained to the IKEA Live Lagom team:

– Leaving lights on due to having a dark kitchen
– Not purchasing a washing machine, thus drying my clothes via radiators
– Not purchasing a proper maiden, for the above reason
– Not being frugal enough with my cooking and left-overs
– Throwing food away and creating extra waste due to poor meal preparation
– A cluttered, un-organised bathroom

Phew! What a list and a half. With those thoughts in mind, challenged with the Live Lagom way of life, here’s how I am getting on so far…

ikea live lagom
ikea live lagom
ikea live lagom
It’s goodbye to hand-washing clothes and using heaps of hot water. Yes – how embarrassing, right? I moved into my lovely little two bedroom house just under a year ago, and just held off looking into a decent washing machine. Instead, this meant lots of buckets full of washing over the sink, absolutely rinsing through the hot water (literally!) and creating enormous water bills. Totally not acceptable. But to make things even worse, I was then leaving my clothes spread out across the house, with the heating on full blast, to dry my clothes this real unethical way. I’d even go as far as to line all my clothes along the radiators. And yes, I totally knew that this method is the cause of dampness in the home.

Luckily, with my sustainable living head now securely fastened on, the fantastic RENLIG FWM7 washing machine is making my life so much easier. The machine is designed to be both water and energy efficient, saving more than the average model. It has a low noise and super quick functions – such as a 30 minute spin which seems to be getting my clothes uber clean in my opinion. Let’s just say I’m not missing those evenings hunched over the sink!

The next issue included adding some brightness to my kitchen, as well as avoiding using my new radiators as devices for drying my clothes…

monochrome kitchen
monochrome kitchen
drying maiden

ikea live lagom
ikea mirror
crystal light
The above photos show my kitchen in it’s usual shaded format, complete with the huge radiator I was guilty of drying my clothes on. Now, I have a huge drying rack/maiden, which is brilliant for neatly spreading my wet clothes on to air out and dry. Plus, when it’s warm outside, I can pop this outside to air out naturally.

The situation, I’m very pleased to announce, has been resolved a much more energy saving way. And this is due to turning off my kitchen lights to try and shed some brightness to my monochrome kitchen, and adding mirrors instead. I’m currently in the process of adding an array of the IKEA KOLJA mirrors to the back wall, reflecting the light from the window to bounce back into the room.

I literally can’t wait to get these three sleek square mirrors drilled into the back wall. It really does amuse me how excited I now get about making these little changes. These reflective additions are going to brighten up the room so well, especially in the Spring/Summer months. I’ll be showing off the final appearance as soon as these beauties are up. Oh and the best bit – £12 a mirror. Yes, £12 a mirror. Enough said.

ikea live lagom
ikea live lagom
ikea live lagom
ikea live lagom
ikea live lagom
ikea live lagom
The next batch of photographs show how well equipped I have been getting in my kitchen. Tidiness – check. Clever storage – check. Organised appearance – check. Affordable? Double check. I’m one of those who has cupboards spilling over with cardboard boxed foods, piled up high knocking over the tins and all sorts of scatty mess. But after realising that living this way meant throwing boxes out, letting food go rotten, messy cupboards and just a general poor kitchen set-up, I knew that clever storage was key.

IKEA have the handiest stack-able range of lunch boxes, cereal holders, containers, food boxes, bottles… the list is endless. I tackled my problem is two ways:

1. To create a space saving, savvy kitchen I can enjoy being in
2. To utilise the correct kitchen tools to prevent food waste.

So far, I’ve been tackling number one by ordering my food and condiments in plastic, see through containers. These line up neatly in my cupboards and fridge, and allow me to remove cardboard, tin or plastic packaging and recycle them straight away. To tackle number two, I made sure I purchased the glass containers which allow me to cook meals in the over, and then transport them straight into the fridge or freezer afterwards if needed. They are absolutely super for cooking up a baked meal, dishing up, and then keeping the left overs in the fridge. This way, I’m straight away encouraged to take the container to work with me the next day for my lunch. Or, I can freeze it away for another day, or even store in my fridge for the next day.

I also invested in some brilliant stainless steel pans and drainers, for much more effective cooking. The sleek, metallic items are again easy to stack, creating more space in my cupboards, and actually make me look forward to cooking…

white living room
cute living room
cute living room
As you can see from the photos above of my lovely and cosy living room, all these sustainable amendments have made me enjoy my home life, and want to spend more quality time in my home. I’m really enjoying keeping my living room free from any clothes washing, but more importantly, I’ve started coming up with new, creative little recipes when it comes to cooking! I have fully updated my kitchen equipment with some real handy bits and bobs, and they have totally won at making me think up healthy and inspiring foods which I can bake in bulk, and then store properly.

Take the below for example. I added these chunky white bowls from IKEA to my shop, so that I can start effectively mixing together all my ingredients. After baking, I can then transport my creations into my shiny new food containers, and distribute my food out during the week. My favourite new invention is this cherry and banana oat flapjack – take a look at my little step by step below!

ikea bowls
ikea bowls
These chunky white bowls are stack-able and sturdy enough for so many food textures…

oat flapjack
I start by throwing in a mixture of wholesome goodness. Yep, that means wholegrain oats, flaxseed, cherry, banana, seeds, nuts, chunky peanut butter and coconut oil. I literally mix them all up so that the bananas, coconut oil and peanut butter bind the mixture together, and then spread into baking tins…

banana oats
cherry flajack
After baking for around 20 minutes, I’m left with a tasty, delicious and healthy oat flapjack, one in which I can slice up and have throughout the week. It lasts around 4-5 days when stored in the fridge, and mark my words, it’s real yummy! You can add a few other extras in it too depending on preference. I know cacao nibs are a popular choice, as is manuka honey to bind together.

flajack healthy
To read a little more about the Live Lagom project with IKEA, check out the website here for more details. I’ve also spotted this fabulous sustainable living collection called ANVANDBAR, which is more for the green fingered people out there (growing your own herbs etc!).

Keep your eyes peeled next week for my final post, where I’ll be concluding on my thoughts regarding the project, and going into a little more detail about the changes I have made…

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