Saturday, July 15, 2017

Going Green!

We have limited resources on this planet we live in and yet consumerism had reached such a stage that product packaging often way exceeds the actual product itself. We may consume the water in the plastic bottle in minutes, but the container itself can take at least 500 years to biodegrade. And in the case of PET bottles, NEVER EVER.

These bottles can be given another lease of life!
I am all for sustainable living, if not for us, let it be for our children and theirs, and that meant everything in moderation too, be it toys or whatever. It may be impossible for us to revert back a minimalist lifestyle like that of our forefathers, but we can definitely try to reverse our wasteful nature and minimize our output. For starters, how about reducing out waste, and re-using some of the stuff that we would have usually thrown out as trash?

Planting Receptacles

I am sure we all would love to have some greenery at home. Besides being pleasing to the eyes, of course plants provide the much-needed oxygen in the house and even purifies the air too! Not many of us are blessed with an outdoor garden, but for those who need to exercise their green fingers, they are always welcomed to join any Resident’s Committee communal gardens. Or you can also use a variety of recycled materials and start your own home garden on a smaller scale!

Plants do not require fanciful pots; it is us humans, who feels the need to get new pots or nice containers for aesthetic purposes. I love gardening from young and would use any containers for my plants. Drink bottles, takeaway containers or whatever pops up, can all be used for planting, and all you need is some imagination and creativity. The following is a way to recycle a drink bottle into a self-watering plant receptacle that is especially useful for a forgetful person -

  • Clean and half a drink bottle using cutter / scissors.
  • Drill a hole in the cap or use the heated tip of a metal spoon to melt a hole. It should be big enough for a strip of cloth to pass through.
  • Cut out a strip of cloth and pass it through the hole. The cloth "wick" should reach the bottom of the bottle.
  • Plant as per normal, or use a layer of absorbent vermiculite at the bottom like me. 
  • Top up water at the bottom and attach the inverted top to the bottom. If done properly, you will not need to water the plant anymore!

You can have the water bottle painted over to beautiful it too! But I think having it transparent is cool too!
Very often we buy beautiful plants back home, only to see them slowly wilt away indoors. Of course we all know that plants need air, water and some amount of fertilizers at times, but we often underestimate the light they really required, hence their early demise. To prevent that, one would either have to frequently rotate the indoor plants to where they can get sufficient sunlight, or you can actually bring the lights to where they are to ensure they can thrive indoors as well! Lovely to know that IKEA stocks LED bulbs meant for growing plants too!

IKEA items used: KVART Work Lamp, VÄXER LED bulb for cultivation and MÄRKBART Scissors.

Lighted Bottle Ornaments

I still get calls from my parents at times, when they come across any big liquor bottles at their void decks to ask me if I wanted them. From young, I had been picking up stuff and I always found these glass bottles to be really beautiful and a waste to be thrown away. All you need are some LED strips and you can easily turn this into a working child-safe night light for the kiddos, that is not only beautiful but practical too! My kiddos are kind of terrified of the dark but not anymore now and they can even bring along their own lighted bottle around. But on hindsight, better not, since they are made of glass! 

The vodka bottles come in different designs and are pretty on its own. For other plain bottles, you may wish to use permanent markers or even acrylic paint for some colours.
IKEA items used: SÄRDAL LED lighting chain with 12 lights and ALKALISK Battery alkaline

Growing Greens Indoors
Well besides up-cycling and growing plants in soil, I am really excited about the KRYDDA / VÄXER range of products that is currently only available in the UK. With everything from the containers, planting medium, nutrients and even lights taken care of, this system is really a plug and play. Getting the kiddos involved in growing their own food, may just be the catalyst required to get their into healthy eating too! From what I read from IKEA Facebook page, the kit is likely to reach our shores only next year though. Check out more details here -

IKEA Turned Karang Guni

For those of you who wants to have a change of furniture but do not know where to dispose of your old but still usable furniture, take note! IKEA will actually be giving you up to $60 vouchers in exchange for your unwanted stuff! But do note that this offer is only up to 06 Aug 2017!

This blog post is brought to you in collaboration with IKEA Singapore!

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