How I’ll live more sustainably

With a baby due in the spring, it really focuses your mind on what legacy our generation should leave the next. (Frankly, it’s not looking too cracking at the moment, is it? But I’m hopeful).

I think climate change is something we absolutely have to address seriously – now – but I appreciate it’s not easy to live our lives the way we want to and are used to without causing some environmental damage.

I can’t claim to be an eco-warrior. I drive my car, I use electronic gadgets, I buy things I want rather than need. In a few months’ time, I’ll have brought another consumer into the world.

But if we all try to make small, everyday changes that are kinder to the planet, we should make a big difference. Or at least, we can’t justify sitting back and doing nothing.

That’s why I wanted to be part of Ikea’s ‘Live Lagom’ project. Lagom comes from the Swedish “Lagom är bäst”, which means “the right amount is best” – so not denying yourself what you love, while not taking from the planet more than you need.

Introduction to Ikea Live Lagom project

Ikea sent a few sweet gifts to welcome me – and our future baby! – to the project, and they will also kindly let me choose some of their products that can help me live more sustainably.

I’ve decided to use the opportunity to focus on cutting our food waste, by being more organised, storing it better and growing my own, and I’ll be sharing my progress with you over the next few months.

Typically, I hate waste anyway and tend to check best before dates and use food up in a fairly orderly fashion. However since I’ve been pregnant my food tastes have become more faddy – especially in those early weeks. I needed to eat, plenty, but the types of food I couldn’t face or would really fancy flitted from day to day.

We’ve also been buying plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, to make sure I’m having the right kinds of snacks and ingredients so my diet is as good as it can be. But inevitably, more fresh produce risks more waste.

Here’s what I’ll be aiming to achieve over the course of the project:

» Trying to cut down food waste to nothing

I’ll be investing in some good containers to keep food fresh, and labels to keep it organised. I also want to be better at planning meals, and buying things for the ‘plan’ when we go shopping. I’ll be looking for new recipes, especially those that use ‘leftovers’ or ‘bottom of the fridge’ items well, and introduce more alternatives to meat (meat production, especially beef, has a big impact on the environment).

We’re slightly in a ‘recipe rut’, so I hope this will help us to get out of it, but at the same time I will be aiming to do more batch cooking because this can help reduce food waste – plus I reckon it’ll also be a life saver once we have a newborn to contend with.

» Starting to grow my own vegetables

Although the garden is not ready yet for a full vegetable patch, within the next couple of months I hope we’ll at least have some decking where I can begin to prepare pots for growing some of our own, fresh vegetables. Further down the line, I want to re-use our food waste for compost.

I’ll probably bring in a couple of other aspects too that will help minimise our use of gas and electricity, like energy-efficient LED lighting, a blackout blind to help keep in heat and a rug underfoot to add warmth to our wood floors.

I hope you enjoy following along and I also hope that over the course of the project I might give you one or two ideas for living more sustainably that you think you could incorporate into your own life.

Have you changed the way you live to make it more sustainable? Or do you want to?

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