Did you know, on an average, an individual spends about 15 minutes in a shower every day? That is, 19,710 litres of precious potable water going down the drain every year, quite literally, according to a recent report.

Similarly, the excessive use of our kitchen faucets, flushes and washing machines ensures we add way too much pressure on this already scarce resource.

That’s not all. Our electricity consumption and our mindless, impulsive approach to buying more stuff than we need means we are causing continuous damage to our already beleaguered environment.

In an effort to raise awareness about sustainability and conscious consumption, IKEA, the region’s favourite Swedish home furnishing retailer, hosted an interactive and informative session in its YAS Mall, Abu Dhabi, store on November 20.

Christophe Dromacque
Clint Egbert

While it pointed out some of the key challenges we face in the near future, which if not addressed, could lead to irreversible damage to our environment, it also highlighted the small changes we can make as individuals to save the world for our future generations.

Kickstarting the event, Imtiyaz Ahmad Gadda, Deputy Sales Manager, Sustainability Ambassador, IKEA Yas, highlighted the efforts taken by the brand to place the issue of sustainability at the forefront of its vision for the future.

Speaking on the occasion, Pooja Dhingra, Sales and Range Manager, Sustainability leader, at IKEA, highlighted the initiatives the multinational retailer is taking towards energy conservation, within the organisation and without. The key one being the launch of IKEA Energy Efficiency Kit in association with the Abu Dhabi Department of Energy (DoE), the Abu Dhabi Department of Community Development (DCD) and Khalifa University of Science and Technology. An assortment of 10 products, the kit includes products from IKEA’s list of sustainability-specific range for saving water and energy, as well as environment-friendly waste sorting bags. Each of these products are tailored to encourage and motivate UAE residents to make eco-friendly choices, thus making a positive impact on our environment.

Dhingra also spoke about Al-Futtaim IKEA’s efforts to reduce the carbon footprint. "We generated 6.8 GWh of solar energy through solar panels at our stores in Festival City and Festival Plaza," she said. The amount of energy generated is equivalent to providing power to over 1,000 homes per year and is helping reduce millions of tonnes of carbon footprint. This is further to IKEA’s mission to apply a circular product design principle during the product development process itself so that every product can be reused, refurbished, remanufactured and eventually recycled, only if needed. "Almost 4,800 IKEA products are either made sustainably or help to lead a more sustainable life and the target is to reach 100 per cent by 2030," she added.

Also present on the occasion was Mr Sougata Nandi, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Energy and Environmental Efficiency Advisory, who spoke on the need to turning all talk of sustainability at global fora into individual actions. "And that is possible only if more and more 
women become the changemakers as they are the key stakeholders in the way households consume energy and resources," he said.

Imtiyaz Ahmad
Clint Egbert

Reiterating the need to create more awareness about energy conservation, Christophe Dromacque, Awareness & Behavioural Change Program Manager, Department of Energy, Abu Dhabi, pointed out that while there is intent among the people of UAE to save resources, there is an obvious lack of knowledge and tools. "Awareness campaigns and corporate initiatives to promote the message of conscious consumption can go a long way in creating a greener future," he said.

The event was hosted by Bassam Nader who engaged with the audience asking them of their efforts to save water and energy.

IKEA’s top picks for sustainable living

Ryet led sign bulb E14 80 lumen: This LED light source consumes up to 85% less energy and lasts 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs. The light from this LED bulb feels as strong as the light from a traditional 10W incandescent bulb.

Ryet led bulb E27 470 lumen: Just like the light bulb mentioned above, this one too consumes upto 85 per cent less energy and lasts 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs. The light from this LED bulb feels as strong as the light from a traditional 40W incandescent bulb.

Vallamosse single-spray handshower: A hand shower with full spray function for a wide and even coverage, it consumes just 8 litres of water per minute. An integrated washer keeps the water flow just right so you save both water and energy.

Sundsvik single-lever kitchen mixer tap: While an aerator integrated in the tap keeps the water flow just right, it ensures less water and energy is used. What's more, the quality is guaranteed to outlast many years of pouring, washing and rinsing.

Dimpa waste sorting bags: These three durable bags are perfect for sorting paper, plastic and glass jars. They are also easy to carry, simple to label and can be folded flat after emptying them. Wondering how they can be cleaned? Just wipe clean with a soft cloth dampened in water and a mild washing-up detergent or soap, if necessary.

Read more