Six months ago when I finally moved into my own flat I had high hopes of rolling all my New Year’s Resolutions into one and being a better person. I started off pretty well; I made sure it was near a pretty regular bus route, then dutifully filled it with mainly pre-owned furniture and started bothering anyone who was involved about the lack of recycling. I told myself eventually I was going to get back into cooking, after a year and a half of not really doing so, partly due to a previously tiny unworkable kitchen and partly due to running an award-winning blog that centres on dining out.
And then, an email dropped into my inbox inviting me to take part in IKEA’s ‘Live LAGOM’ project to make changes to lead a more sustainable life. Coming from the Swedish phrase “Lagom är bäst” which seems to translate roughly as ‘the right amount is best’, IKEA were offering to help improve my sustainability with a bunch of products – and advice.
And so as read through all the stuff they sent over about the project and chatted about ideas with my IKEA Live LAGOM project leader Kevin, I remembered telling myself that once I’d settled into the flat I’d start cooking again. That was six months ago, and if anything I’d gotten worse. With no housemates to guilt my into going to bed at a reasonable hour I stayed up late and breakfast became a rushed take-out coffee and pastry eaten at my desk at work, lunch was a meal deal from the supermarket and food was whatever I picked up on the way home. It was neither particularly sustainable for my overall health, bank balance and, when I totted up the amount of packaging I was throwing away, the environment either.
So when IKEA asked us to create a New Year’s Resolution relating to the Live LAGOM project, I figured I’d do two. The first was I a challenge to cook more, thereby being responsible for, and reducing, my food and packaging waste. The second was to continue to make sure my flat was comfy and cosy, but that I wasn’t using energy unnecessarily.
I wanted to make sure that the resolutions would be improvements to my life, but also ones that would last beyond the usual January “New Year New Me” period. So I decided that Monday through to Friday I had to eat ten home-prepared meals, which would not only force my to cook but also to make sure I used the stores of spices I had. I’d also use a blanket if I was a bit cold and break my nighttime dependance on my electric blanket with a thicker quilt.
Well. this is hopefully the start of a fun few months settling into the challenge. I’m aiming to do a few updates here, as well as the occasional recipe over on my food blog Full to the Brum. Fingers crossed it’ll go well!