CLIMATE: Smart choices give quick wins for the Ecoration families
Swedish households can reduce their “left-over” combustible waste volumes by up to 70 percent by becoming better at recycling and minimising household food waste with the help of smart and simple home furnishing solutions. This conclusion is based on early results from the test families taking part in the joint climate project Sustainable life at home.
“We sort a lot now. It seems as if we don’t have any real waste anymore,” says Emil Sandebäck, representing one of the nine “ecorator” families in and around the Swedish city of Kalmar.
Being an ecorator is about combining creative home decorating with environmental thinking and having the courage to test new things. Ann-Sofie Gunnarsson is the Sustainable life at home project leader at IKEA Sweden:
“This proves that small changes to everyday life have immediate environmental impact. It is easier than you might think to create a lovely home while also saving resources – your own as well as the planet’s,” she says.
One fifth of Sweden’s energy consumption takes place at home. An energy consultant has visited the families to make an inventory to identify ”energy thieves”. Each family has had a display installed, showing how much electricity is being consumed.
”It works almost like an alarm clock and helps the families take a bigger personal responsibility for their energy consumption. The strength of the project is that we can – together – find concrete solutions that have big positive impact on the environment,” says WWF Sweden’s Director of Marketing Mariann Eriksson.
The families’ next step will be to help identify simple solutions to save energy, such as LED lighting, stand-by switches, and insulating rugs and textiles. This, in turn, has the potential to contribute to lower carbon dioxide emissions. The families’ carbon footprints are calculated as part of the project, and are already below the Swedish average of 8-10 tonnes per person per year even if emissions vary between the families.
The Sustainable life at home project strives to inspire IKEA customers and co-workers to adopt sustainable everyday behaviours. The focus is on reducing energy and water consumption, and on minimising food and other household waste. The project will also be testing specifically developed store and web communication to see if customers’ behaviour can be positively influenced this way.
To follow the families’ blogs and read more about the project (in Swedish), click here.