Welcome to the sustainable living series we’re calling Sustainable Sunday! Planning the upcoming renovation for my Mom’s accessible shower has proven to be a time consuming process and my time for DIYs has crawled to a standstill. Over the course of the next few Sundays, we’re going to be filling in those gaps.
The Sustainable Living Project
A few years ago we were selected as one of 24 households across Canada to participate in the IKEA Canada Sustainable Living Project. It was the perfect opportunity to challenge ourselves to see how far our efforts would take us in leading a more sustainable life.
For us sustainable living means promoting good health through eating well, sleeping well, and generating less food, energy and water waste. It also means changing our mindset to engage in activities that are more environmentally friendly. However, getting there is a journey, not a sprint. I hope you’ll come along for the ride on Birdz of a Feather as we share our journey to sustainable living!
Hubs and I have always practiced the 3 R’s (reduce, reuse and recycle). But being an IKEA ambassador opened up a whole new world for us to explore sustainable products and take our efforts to the next level. To friends and family, it will come as no surprise that we chose Healthy Living as our main focus. Hubs was diagnosed with Celiac disease many years ago. So he had to start eating gluten free to restore and maintain his health. Healthy living isn’t just a catch phrase for us – it’s a necessity! By the way, if any of you are gluten free, we’ll have some great recipes to share.
When we met with the team of Ikea experts, they helped guide us in making our product selections. Pictured below, with our basket of sustainable goodies, is our team leader, Jared, Christina (Public Relations) and Amanda (Videographer).
As we were walking through the store making our selections, Amanda told us about a new product she was using to air dry her laundry – the MULIG drying rack. I’m so glad she did! Because we dread those unsightly ‘hanger bumps’ on the shoulders, we were looking for a way to air dry things such as knitted sweaters.
Since it happened to be a long weekend, Hubs took full advantage of assembling most of our IKEA items. The first thing we opened to try out over the weekend was the MULIG and it has exceeded our expectations, as you’ll see in an upcoming post.
A Few Things We’ll Focus On
I had so many ideas swirling around my head to help us meet our goal that we can’t wait to share with you! Here are just two of the many things coming up on Birdz of a Feather:
We’ll be delving into energy conservation – especially in the kitchen. Hubs is the chef in the family and he tends to cook a lot of our meals low and slow. We’ll be showing you a new method of cooking (for us) – using the VARDESATTA pressure cooker – which is a faster and more efficient way to cook that will help us save on energy.
Preventing Food Waste
Much of our produce spoils before we ‘remember’ to even use it. According to David Suzuki, close to half of all food produced worldwide is wasted — discarded in processing, transport, supermarkets and kitchens. The average household throws out about 215 kilograms of food each year. That’s around $600 dollars worth. In our household, we throw away a lot of food due to spoilage (like freezer burn) that’s totally preventable.
I’m not proud to show you the picture below, but here’s an example of how we tossed broccoli and a head of cauliflower into the green bin because it was too slimy and moldy to eat.
By the end of Ikea’s Sustainable Living Project, waste such as this should be a thing of the past in our household! We’ll show you how we used IKEA products to get us into the habit of planning our meals. This will reduce our unnecessary waste. For the unavoidable waste (i.e. eggshells) that should go into a green bin, the STRAPATS pedal bin will replace the bin pictured below. It will also save our backs in the process with its convenient step-on lid opening feature!
Coming Up Next Week
Our first two posts on Sustainable Sunday will feature our indoor herb garden. Part two is how to make pesto and will provide tips on how to cut back basil so it keeps providing food for years to come!
You’ll find the entire Sustainable Sunday series here.