Time for the final blog and is this the end of the journey? No, I don’t think so. Doing the Live LAGOM challenge has brought new insight into things I can do to live more sustainably. I said at the beginning that I thought I already “did my bit”; but nevertheless I’ve learnt stuff and made changes.
Energy – mild winter or not, the addition of extra rugs and blinds on the windows has made a difference. Definitely cut the draughts from single glazed (grade 2 listed) windows and gaps in floorboards. Furry housemates have greatly approved too.
New LED lights, replacing of bulbs and reusable batteries for fairy lights dotted about the place have also helped the cosy effect. And there’s been some energy saving – I’ve just renewed my plan with Ovo (green tariff, natch) and my direct debit has dropped by £11 per month due to reduction in use. So that’s £132 saved.
Tidying – seems an odd one, but being a bit more organised by using the KORKEN glass jars in my cupboards has meant it’s a whole lot easier to do a stock take on what I actually have and therefore don’t need to buy again. I’ve also been inspired by the Live LAGOM philosophy of having just enough to review my home in general. I joined a Facebook group – Living with Less – as a way to share the triumphs and challenges of tackling the hoarding instinct I’ve inherited from my parents. Not quite there yet, but I’ve shed rather a lot of books, excess kitchenalia, old clothes and my favourite thing, hoarded paper. Over 300 magazines and five boxes of newspaper clippings have been recycled and I’ve got into the habit of putting read magazines by the front door, ready to pass on to hospitals and doctors’ waiting rooms. I’ve also stopped two subscriptions, never having the time to read them so that’s another £72 a year saved. On the list to do next? Sort out the linen cupboard and attic.
I’m also embracing William Morris’s maxim, “have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful”. Because I don’t like waste, I also hang onto things a little too long, so the beautiful reference is especially apt. Torn? Stained? Chipped? Recycled. I’m also trying very hard to stop “saving for best” – life is short, so we need to use the best china, light the expensive candles and wear the good shoes. Mind you, it is a bugger when you then break something nice…
Gardening – I’ve always enjoyed a potter but haven’t done much seed sowing before. My little VINDRUVA greenhouses have enabled me to grow tomato plants from scratch, so much so, that they are slightly taking over the house. Annoyingly, I managed to drop one greenhouse cover – and unfortunately, they don’t bounce on a stone floor. So that’s on the list for replacement. I also had a go at the herb pots – success for parsley & basil, not so much for the mint. A couple of things from my list haven’t quite found their niche yet the BITTERGURKA hanging planters are a little too big for indoor use in my home and because they have no drainage holes, they’re not so useful outside, filling up rapidly with rainwater – although that’s useful in itself! The outdoor SKRUV lights on a timer have also made my little courtyard area safer (no more tripping over plant pots on the way to the bin); and more useable after dark.
Whom would I recommend taking part in this challenge? Everyone really. It’s a good opportunity to reflect on your everyday activity, the habits we all get into and the chance to make a few small changes that can have a big impact.
Live LAGOM. Not just an excuse to go shopping.