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July 2017

Sustainable Businesses Sustainable Living

IKEA’s Sustainable Living Home Tour

When we say “IKEA”, the first word that comes to everyone’s mind is – Meatballs! Yes, IKEA is known for introducing Swedish food (our favourite!) and interior design to Singapore.

But do you know, IKEA is also one of the top leaders in driving sustainability efforts? By 2020, the IKEA group aims to run its entire business on renewable energy and produce as much renewable energy as it consumes! Within Singapore, IKEA has a countless number of initiatives to show their commitment towards sustainability such as being MSC certified, recycling waste to biofuel and banning the sale of plastic bags.

IKEA recently launched their Sustainable Living Home Tour, which allows the public to experience how a family living in a 55 square room apartment can take small actions towards sustainable living. Our team was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to participate in the tour. Here are some of the products that have come to our attention as both sustainable and stylish!

1. Joxtorp 

So on the first glance, you might think this is a normal lamp shade made out of polyester or steel. But when you take a closer look, it is actually made out of paper! At least 80% of this product is made of paper and it comes in other colours such as orange.

A complementary item that can match this lamp shade is a LED light bulb which you can also find in IKEA. Since 2016, all light bulbs being sold at IKEA are LED use up to 85% less energy than conventional bulbs and can last up to 20 years!

2. Variera/Utrusta









One of our favourite items would have to be the Variera/Utrusta, which is a waste sorting bins for the cabinet. As mentioned by the IKEA staff, 9 out of 10 households do not sort their waste and we believe these bins will encourage sorting and also make it easier for the household. Also, these bins are made of recycled polypropylene plastic!

3. Ärenpris 

Look at fluffy pillow! Would you have guessed that they are made out of recycled plastic? The filling in these pillows from 100% recycled PET bottles and they feel the same as other pillows (Trust us, we tried it out). What a meaningful innovation!

4. Pahl

For those of you who have children, this is probably one of the most thoughtful furniture designed by IKEA. This desk allows you to adjust its height to three different levels, with the maximum height being 72cm. So, instead of having to buy a new desk everytime your child grows taller, you now have a desk that grows with your child!


Besides all these products above, IKEA has a wide variety of other products which are designed with sustainability in mind. Share with us which of their products is your favourite and why!


Sustainable Living

5 green ways to transform your work desk

People usually tend to have a misconception that it is very difficult to lead a sustainable life. But is it really that difficult? Based on our experiences, here are 5 small actions you can take to transform your work desk into a sustainable one, without having to make drastic changes!


1. Hello, plant

Did you know that having plants on your work desk helps to increase happiness and productivity? They will also help to enliven your workspace! Desk plants require low maintenance and help to improve the environment by purifying the air and regulating air humidity.

You can easily get a small desk plant from shops such as Muji, IKEA or any florists.  For those who prefer to have low maintenance plants, you can consider buying devil’s ivy, cacti or peace lily.


2. Bye bye metal stapler

A single staple might be irrelevant but when you think about a number of resources used to make staplers, it suddenly becomes a significant matter. A solution to this problem? Paper stapler! A paper staple is one that uses a special binding method to fasten the sheets, without the use of metal staples. How cool is that! But you should take note that this stapler is suitable for stapling documents of about 5 pages.

P.S. Why not challenge yourself not to use a stapler at all?


3. The beauty of refills

Some of us may have the bad habit of throwing a pen away every time after use. But have you ever thought about getting refills? Not only do they help you practice sustainability, it is also cheaper as compared to getting a whole new pen! Refills are not only restricted to pens. You can buy refills for highlighters or whiteboard markers which can be found in almost every bookshop. So, what is stopping you?


4. Say no to spiral notebooks

One small detail that is often left out is when you purchase a spiral notebook (i.e. notebooks which are bound with a metal spine). Although it can be argued that the metal spine can be recycled, isn’t it better to avoid it completely? This also helps you save the hassle of separating the papers from the metal spine. My personal favourite brand of non-spiral notebooks is from Muji, even some of their planners are non-spiral!


5. Fancy pencils

It doesn’t come as a surprise that traditional pencils are much more environmentally friendly as compared to mechanical pencils due to the way they are manufactured. And who doesn’t love to use fancy and innovative pencils? There are traditional pencils which can be replanted into trees after use, such as Sprout whose pencils grow into various species of plants (eg: Basil, Mint, Sunflower and Sage). There are even traditional pencils made out of recycled newspapers. Why not give them a try?


Have more ideas on how to transform your work desk into a sustainable one? Feel free to drop us a few comments!