When it comes to design, there has been a huge shift toward prioritizing sustainability recently, but IKEA has been quietly driving this movement for years. From powering their stores with renewable energy sources, to reducing the environmental impact of shipping with their ahead-of-their-time flatpack system, the iconic Swedish design destination has made sustainable design accessible for all. Great design doesn’t need to cost a lot of money, but instead rely on innovative minds to find better solutions.
As a designer himself, Tommy Smythe works to incorporate sustainability both in his work and his home life. He’s moved away from eating animal products (Ikea’s incredible veggie meatballs may have played a roll in this) and opts for LED bulbs and low-flow faucets to reduce energy and water consumption. These are just a few of the conscious choices we all can make that have a positive impact on the earth. If you want to make your home a little greener, here are some Tommy-loved products to help you get started, all available in the 2020 IKEA catalogue and at IKEA.ca.
REUASBLE MESH BAGS
With more stores phasing out single use plastic bags, having your own sustainable options are more important than ever. Ikea’s reusable mesh bags are perfect for running to the market to carry home your goods, and even for food storage itself. Hang your onions or your bananas in the breathable bag that looks as good in your home as it does on your arm.
KUNGSFORS Mesh bag (set of 2), $6.99
WATER-SAVING SINK ACCESSORIES
If you wash your dishes by hand, or find yourself filling the basin to wash a handful of fruits or veggies, these great accessories can help you reduce excess water waste. The series of bins and colanders work together to allow you to fill a portion of your sink with water, and catch rinse water to reuse for other dishes or even watering your plants.
GRUNDVATTNET Rinsing tub, $12.99
When it comes to food, it doesn’t really get any more sustainable than growing your own. Many of us lack the space for a full vegetable garden, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get in on the slow-food movement. This hanging planter allows you to grow tiers of herbs so you always have fresh options on hand. Your food will taste better, you’ll need fewer trips to the store, and you’ll just feel good knowing you grew some of your food yourself!
BITTERGURKA Hanging planter, $19.99
CORK PLACEMATS AND COASTERS
Cork is one of those materials that often gets overlooked and remembered only for its (very important) role of keeping wine fresh and delicious, but it turns out it’s an incredible renewable material that more designers are starting to turn to. Harvested from the bark of cork oak trees, portions of the tree are merely trimmed rather than cut down so they grow back at an incredible pace. Cork placemats and coasters are durable, beautiful and so understated in their look that they fit seamlessly into any style of home.
AVSKILD Place mat (4 pack), $6.00
Portable induction cooktop
Induction cooktops aren’t exactly new to the cooking world, but this portable option is a game changer. If you’re short on space and looking to use less engery, this is stylish younger sister to the well-known hot plate you need. Using induction technology, it heats up metal cookware in a flash, but isn’t hot to the touch so it’s one of the safest options out there. Plus it has a handle and easy cord storage so you can take it with you or stow it away. Here’s a handy tip: if you’re not sure if your pots and pans work with induction stove tops, try to attach a magnet to the bottom – if it sticks, it’s a fit!
TILLREDA Portable induction cooktop, $49.99
Glass storage containers
Another great way to save money and reduce the amount of packaging you bring into your home is by shopping the bulk section. And better still, is shopping it with your own reusable containers. These glass containers come in a variety of sizes, so whether you need to store pasta, rice, sugar, or any other pantry item, these have you covered. Of course they also make great options for keeping leftovers fresh or freezing meals when you prep in advance!
IKEA 365+ Jar with lid (112oz), $8.49
Reproduced from The Marilyn Dennis Show.