Want to save RM3,000 a year on bills and living expenses AND do your part for the environment at the same time?

Ikea wants to show you how.

Its recently launched Sustainable Living Project aims to help Malaysians create a more sustainable lifestyle at home based on the four Ikea sustainability pillars: saving energy, conserving water, reducing and recycling waste, and living healthier.

The Swedish home furnishing and solutions company will be conducting Sustainable Home Tours at Ikea Damansara and Ikea Cheras in the Klang Valley throughout the campaign period, which runs from now till Aug 6.

Members of the press were recently invited to tour the interior of a 55sq m model home for a family of four that showcased home furnishing ideas and solutions and sustainable practices that save the family up to RM3,000 a year in expenses.

“The living room features 15 light points, but by using all LED bulbs, which consume 85% less energy than incandescent bulbs and last 20 times longer, the sustainable home saves as much as RM2.08 in electricity per bulb. That amounts to RM31 saved per year,” said Sheila Ibrahim, sustainability manager at Ikea Damansara.

In terms of electricity consumption within a home, air-conditioners are the biggest culprits, followed by the refrigerator.

Ikea Sustainable Living Project

LED bulbs consume 85% less energy than incandescent bulbs and last 20 times longer. Photo: Ikea Malaysia

By choosing energy-efficient models and adjusting the temperature upwards by 3°C, the savings generated was RM112 per year (for three air-conditioner units). Adjusting the fridge’s temperature to -18°C also leads to savings of RM13 per year.

If you are someone who tends to leave the TV or your desktop computer on standby mode overnight, you are wasting electricity too.

“Turning off a desktop computer at night saves a total of RM44 per year while switching off appliances at power points saves a total of RM22 per year,” highlighted Sheila.

Simple things like using water efficient taps and washing vegetables and fruits in a bowl instead of under running water, and taking quick showers instead of using a bath tub, can all save you over RM400 a year too.

Overall, though, the project revealed that the bulk of the money saved comes from reducing food wastage.

“Save your food leftovers in tempered glass containers and turn them into the next meal or freeze them for another day,” said Sheila. That can help shave off RM20 per day and, at two days a week, amounts to RM2,080 extra money in the bank a year.

Recycling and composting can be done easily at home by getting recycling and composting bins, added Sheila, who also encouraged people to use rechargeable batteries.

“At Ikea, we believe that it is possible for everyone to lead a better life at home while being sustainable and protecting the environment at the same time. It doesn’t require extra spending, radical lifestyle changes or compromise on style.

“Through this project, we hope to encourage Malaysians to start making small but significant improvements at home,” said Mike King, retail manager at Ikea Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand, in a press release.

King cited a survey conducted by the Merdeka Centre (an opinion research firm) in December 2016 which found that 81% of Malaysians expressed worry about climate change, following a year when temperatures hit record highs.

“Change starts with the individual. Lots of people want to live more sustainably but don’t necessarily know how to do so. This is where we come in, integrating Ikea home furnishing knowledge with a vast selection of products that help more people live sustainable lives in the future,” he said.

Ikea Sustainable Living Project

Saving leftover food for later consumption reduces wastage and saves money too. Photo: Ikea Malaysia

On Ikea’s end, the company works at sustainable production; for instance, all the cotton used in its products comes from sustainable sources. The retailer works with the World Wildlife Fund as well as the Better Cotton Initiative on green cotton farming and production issues.

About the project

If you’re keen to take part in the sustainable home tour, you can book a session at Ikea.my/sustainable-living from now until Aug 5.

Families with a passion for sustainable living are also encouraged to register their interest in sustainable living at the same link for the opportunity to participate in the Sustainable Living Project. Three families will be chosen to receive professional consultations and Ikea products worth up to RM8,000 per household to create a more sustainable life in their own homes.

Over the next four months, these families will work closely with Ikea sustainability consultants to effect positive change in their everyday lives.

In addition, every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from now till Aug 6, Ikea Family members can go to either of the two Ikea stores to exchange recyclable materials such as plastic bottles, aluminium cans, and newspapers for Ikea Family points. Each member can redeem up to 3,000 points during the campaign period.