The Sustainable Living Project


Sustainable Living Project
What is the Sustainable Living Project?
We believe that even the smallest changes can create a big impact. There are many ways to live kinder and contribute a positive change to the environment and it starts from your home. We believe that everyone should be able to live a sustainable life at home without spending more, drastically changing the way they live, or compromising on style and quality.

That is why we have come up with the Sustainable Living Project - a movement that is designed to help you make small changes in your homes in order to save energy, conserve water, recycle & reduce waste, live healthier. We want to show you what we believe in, and how you can create this in your own home.

We are delighted to announce that 3 household participants have been selected out of hundreds of entries and they are :

  • Bernard Koh Wee Tong
  • Chew Ken Wee
  • Seow Jing Ru

Let's meet the families!
Sustainable stories
sustainable storiesKinder

Family 1: Detached house

Meet the Chew family. The 3-generation Chew family home is filled with curiosity and entrepreneurialism. Busy lifestyles, along with some uncertainty, held them back from starting their sustainability journey. With support from IKEA the Chew family is ready to walk the walk.

Mr. Chew his family

“Singapore has no natural resources to rely on. Growing up here made us aware of our limited energy and water resources and the importance of not wasting them. We want to change our habits, reduce our household utility consumption and lower our bills by being more mindful and aware of how our small actions do add up to big savings”

Waste sorting in the kitchen

The family relies on a 20 year old kitchen and two sorting bins for managing compost,combination waste and recyclables.

Energy saving

Ken’s parents usually spend time in the living area, reading and watching TV, with all their ceiling lights turned on - 12 fluorescent lights.

Outdoor Composting solution

Currently Ken and his family use only plastic bags as outdoor composting solution for food and garden waste.

Family 2: 5-room HDB flat

Meet Jing and Neo, a working couple living in a 5-room HDB in Ang Mo Kio. When they acquired their flat a year and a half ago, the couple took conscious steps to install LED lights, water saving taps, and other water- and energy- efficient household items. They recently started collecting soft drink tins for recycling, and are ready to take the next steps into living more sustainably with IKEA!

Jing and Neo

"We only have one Mother Earth. Every one of us has the responsibility to ensure that She is there for future generations. Every small step counts and it can start from home.”

Waste management in the kitchen

The couple has allotted one corner in the kitchen where they keep aside items for recycling. These build up over time without any form of organization put in place.

The couple uses airconditioning to help regulate the temperature, but this isn’t very friendly to the environment and their pockets as well!

Jing and Neo’s bedroom and balcony are subject to the west side sun each day. With no proper window treatment, their whole house feels very warm.

Family 3: 4-room HDB flat

Say hello to Bernard, a “greenie” who is committed to saving more by using less. He lives with his mum and his girlfriend in a 4-room HDB flat in Bedok. He already lives sustainably– taking steps to recycle and reduce waste, as well as minimise energy and water use. Bernard’s journey with IKEA will be all about refining his sustainable practices at home, and also encouraging himself to live a healthier lifestyle.

Mr. Bernand and his mother

"Healthy living and caring for the environment starts from home and we are delighted to work together with IKEA to encourage and motivate more families in Singapore."

Bernard spends long hours sitting at home, staring at blank walls while working in front of his computer. This contributes to his poor posture, and can cause a strain on his neck and shoulders.

A collection area for recyclables can be found in Bernard’s kitchen but it gets cluttered and in the way of everyone at home when the items pile up. Not only that, it’s also an eyesore in their clean space!

With three working adults in Bernard’s home, the use of batteries is common for their remote controls and other gadgets. We will explore how we can help them reduce battery waste, which is quite hard to dispose of.

Reduce energy
Today’s homes have a lot of modern techniques and technologies that use up energy. The consumption can be reduced, and money can be saved, by using energy-efficient products and sustainable home furnishing solutions.
Some food can be cooked in one pot at the same time using inserts. This reduces energy-use while cooking.
LED lighting reduces energy-use by up to 85% compared to incandescent bulbs.
Textiles can be used to make the indoor climate more comfortable, either warmer or cooler, and thereby reducing energy use.
Hanging laundry and airing semi-clean clothes and textiles instead using the washer and dryer reduces energy-use.
Energy saving | Waste & recycling | Water saving | Healthy living
Reduce waste and recycle
Reducing waste and recycling is something everybody can do – from small homes to big businesses. It’s a matter of changing our mind-set from “waste” to “resource”. The simplest way to reduce waste, and save money, is to only use what we need.
Waste needs to be sorted so that it can be recycled or re-used.
Waste is minimised when furniture is repaired or given new life.
Textiles can be recycled to serve new purposes.
Food containers with lids keep food freshness and nutritional content longer and help to reduce food waste.
Reduce water use
Out of all the water on Earth, less than three percent is fresh (non-saline) water. Everyone can contribute to conserving this precious, shared resource by being more conscious about their habits at home.
Doing dishes under a running tap wastes a lot of water. This can be reduced by using a bowl or sink with water.
A filled dishwasher is more water-efficient than washing dishes by hand.
All IKEA taps are equipped with a water-saving device and many also have a cold-start function to reduce unnecessary use of hot water.
Cold water that is caught before it heats up in the shower can be used for household chores like watering plants.
Live a healthier life
Living a sustainable life starts with our own health. This could be about having access to clean drinking water and breathing clean air and also about knowing what we eat. A healthier life could also be about integrating more movement into everyday activities.
Standing stimulates the circulation and reduces potentially harmful effects from sitting too long.
Growing your own herbs and vegetables, supports a more conscious and healthier life at home that children can learn from.
Play and movement promotes a good night’s sleep and increases resistance to illness.
Biking is a healthy and environmentally-friendly choice
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Co-worker stories - Kumar

Meet Kumar, a Logistics Co-worker at the IKEA Alexandra in Singapore. He lives with his wife and three children in a 4-room HDB flat in Bukit Merah. Kumar also works part-time at Orchard and has to commute at odd hours sometimes. Kumar is keen on saving both transportation costs and making an effort to live more sustainably by biking to his two jobs. When co-workers were given a chance to take home some products from the IKEA More Sustainable Life at Home range, he gladly volunteered.

Kumar, a Logistics Co-worker at the IKEA Alexandra in Singapore.

Kumar has been working in logistics since 1997. “It’s a good job but at times it can be tough. Biking to and from work is not”, he says with a smile.

Kumar is cycling SLADDA bicycle

“I like the SLADDA bike because it’s sturdy enough to carry whatever I need for work. I use it when I go grocery shopping too.”

SLADDA bike also has accessories that can easily be attached to the body, like this bicycle bag. The bag’s main material is water-resistant and the bottom is water-repellent, so Kumar can store his lunch and other belongings conveniently in here while riding.

Biking in Singapore gets better and easier every year.

"Biking in Singapore gets better and easier every year. The Singapore government invests a lot in making roads more bike friendly. Biking often is faster than taking the bus, especially at odd hours. I also save more than S$100 per month by not buying a travel pass.”

Co-worker stories - Marcus

Meet Marcus, a Sustainability Manager at the IKEA Tampines in Singapore. He Lives with his 68-year-old mother at a two-bedroom flat in Serangoon. Marcus’s interest in protecting the environment dates back to his science lessons in primary school. Now that he is taking charge of the household’s utility fee, his interest in finding little ways to save has grown.

Meet Marcus, a Sustainability Manager at the IKEA Tampines in Singapore.

“As you grow older, roles in the household change. Now I take on most of the chores and the utility bills. Since then, I have changed my lifestyle more and more to find little ways to save.”

Marcus installed IKEA water-saving taps in his home.

Marcus installed IKEA water-saving taps in his home and uses GRUNDVATTNET rinsing tub in the sink. “Now water no longer washes needlessly down the drain.”

Marcus has a pull-out system tucked under the sink: one bin is for disposable waste, and the other is for all bottles, cardboard, cans that can be recycled.

“I have a pull-out system tucked under the sink: one bin is for disposable waste, and the other is for all bottles, cardboard, cans that can be recycled.” In Singapore, all recyclables are collected in a single bin and sorted out later - so there is no need to separate paper from plastic.

Marcus has found new ways to save energy, too. He installed LED lights, stocked up on IKEA recyclable batteries, changed out an old TV and a dishwasher for more energy-efficient versions.

Marcus has found new ways to save energy, too. He installed LED lights, stocked up on IKEA recyclable batteries, changed out an old TV and a dishwasher for more energy-efficient versions. For the first time, he has seen on his utility bills that he is tracking ‘below average’ when compared to his neighbours. “I’m really happy to see that the little steps add up to a real change.”

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