We do not need much convincing these days. Even as I’m typing this article, the temperature outdoors has been hitting an all time high. The daily news remind us of strange weather patterns leading to all sorts of weather-related calamities all over the world. Climate Change is real and it is happening. Worse, we have just heard that Singapore’s temperature rise, due to the fact that we are near the equator, is many more times faster than the rest of the world. If we do not start educating our children about it and start modifying our living patterns and consumption habits, I’m afraid their generation (and those after) may suffer irreversible consequences (as shown in this simple info-graphic below).
While schools and the government attempt to educate the public, we as parents can role model a greener, more sustainable way to live. It surprisingly very easy to do so. Especially with simple ideas from IKEA, we can make a difference without leaving our homes!
We all know that switching off electrical components when not in use helps to save energy and in return reduces the occurrence of greenhouse gases. At IKEA, they have electrical extension cords that are lighted. That way, we know at a glance which electrical appliances are still turned on and can switch them off when not in use. Besides, using the extension cord allows us to turn off multiple electrical appliances with just a flick of a single switch. Easy!
Turning off electrical appliances and lights in any room that’s not being used sounds simple, but the amount of energy (and money) it will save is pretty remarkable.
ROMMA Cable management box with lid, grey $12.90 (available in white too). A neat way to organise the cables.
IKEA has a large variety of energy-saving LED light bulbs. These LED bulbs use up to 85% less energy than conventional bulbs and last up to 20 years. LED is also better for the environment as it does not contain any mercury and can be recycled as electronics. IKEA’s range of bulbs for almost any type of lights – from standing lamps to chandeliers plus dimmer switches, timers and rechargeable batteries. Why not start the change to LEDs and rechargeable batteries today? It’ll brighten up the future for your budget and the planet.
Did you know that for every LED light-bulb sold, IKEA Foundation will donate €1 to light refugee camps in Ethiopia, Sudan and Bangladesh? That’s such an incredible CSR effort.
Light bulbs are one of those items that can be tricky to dispose of. How do you usually dispose your used light bulbs? Did you know that you can also bring them to IKEA for them for proper disposal and recycling? Look out for the Bulb Recycling Bins at the electrical section!
Bring your old, unwanted light bulbs to IKEA for proper disposal and save the earth!
c. Sort and Store:
By sorting and storing your fridge and freezer well, we minimise food wastage (from being forgotten) and maximize the fridge’s efficiency to keep cool. This greatly reduces energy consumption and the production of greenhouse gases. Check our previous post for more info.
Children outgrow their toys, books and clothes very quickly. At home, we have a box where we periodically chuck items that the kids have outgrown but still in good, usable condition. We put them into a ‘Green Bin’ to donate these items to others in need, usually to the Salvation Army.
We also set up a mini recycling station with these green Ikea boxes labeled ‘Paper’ and ‘Plastics’ for our old magazines, worksheets, unwanted flyers and pamphlets. For the ‘Plastics’ box, we teach Dana and our domestic helper to place PET bottles, shampoo, shower gel, detergent bottles in it. Once they are filled, we will bring them to the neighbourhood recycling bins. These boxes are placed in visible corner in our living room to remind us that we can do our part to make the world less of a junk yard.
Bringing Outdoors In:
IKEA doesn’t only sell furniture. Its extensive collection of plants is extremely popular with families. Part of working towards a cleaner planet is creating more green material to purify the air and provide a healthier, more sustainable earth. An herb garden, houseplants, fresh flowers all can help to reduce effects of global warming. How? Houseplants help to oxygenate the air and offset the negative effects of contaminates from furniture, carpets, pets, and air-conditioning systems. They will basically freshen the air and filter out toxins, which are particularly harmful to babies and young children. That’s why when you have houseplants, you can doing more than beautifying your home!
Flowers and plants for all seasons and occasions.
In our living room, we have always plants to make the living space more pleasant for family bonding to take place. Looking at these greenery instantly lifts my mood everyday.
A green living space is a healthy one.
Watch this short TED Talk video on how we can grow fresh air in our homes with 3 common house plants! I was pleasantly surprised that we already have 2 in our home (both from IKEA).
There are many products in IKEA that are made from renewable, recyclable or recycled materials, from drawing paper to furniture to serve-wares. To support the drive to turn waste into resources, we should start rethinking our consumption patterns to include more items sporting the Universal Recycling Symbol. For my family, I’ve switched to buying Ikea’s bed linen as of last year as they are made from environmental-friendly materials like sustainable Better Cotton and biodegradable lyocell (a fibre that originates from wood pulp), so it’s better for the planet, too. Find out more about Ikea’s Better Cotton Initiative here.
Even our choice of bed linen and household products makes a difference to the Earth.
As parents, we work hard to give our children a good future. In doing so, let us not forget to role model environmental consciousness so that they too can work towards a future that is clean, green and beautiful. Eco living with IKEA is not difficult at all. Just start with the above steps!
Disclaimer: This post is a collaboration with IKEA Singapore. We received a gift card to purchase some of the items mentioned in this post.