Start a quest of sorts—Hobbit-style and not like those pesky Harfoots. Prepare supplies and all-important snacks in resealable bags and containers. Go to the park, perhaps, or the beach. Have a meal of meatballs or donuts in the great outdoors. Grow your own garden. Create a leafy universe. And if you have kids of your own who are a cross between the adventurous Pippi Longstocking and the ever-curious Lisbeth Salander, allow them to make art and set off on that road to being little Picassos or Jockum Nordströms. The point is: You can have those simple but significant adventures during one of the hottest summers we’ve ever known while staying home or somewhere nearby where it’s breezy, not-as-sunny, full of greens, and without spending a cache of cash.
This is according to Jasmin Ferrero-Cruz, IKEA Philippines' inspiration and communication manager.
“There are sustainable and affordable ways to spend summer,” she explained. You can have a remarkable summer without leaving home, and yet having the time of your life while adhering to the principles of sustainability. “You don’t need to spend a lot just to travel to faraway places.”
You can virtually bring that summery destination to your own backyard. Well, with the right IKEA products, you can set up your own outdoorsy space, comfortable, uncommon, and contemporarily designed.
One of the modules featured during the recent launch of IKEA's summer collection hosted by Bianca Gonzalez-Intal at Level 4 Småland in Ikea Pasay City focused on creative decorating for summer.
“You can refresh your veranda with our sustainably sourced Ikea outdoor furniture items,” said Cruz.
Thinking of a backyard barbecue? The Tärnö outdoor table and two chairs (P4,890) are easy to set up and fold for convenient and space-saving storage. The pieces are a practical addition to your home as they are made with sustainably sourced acacia wood combined with easy-care powder-coated steel for longevity while aging beautifully.
What’s a picnic without snacks? Heck, you can’t munch on your dog-eared copy of The Dragon with the Girl Tattoo, er, whatever. You need sustenance or something to satisfy that always-peckish you.
Istad resealable bags (starts at P150 per 60 pieces) keep your healthy road trip snacks such as sandwiches and chips—vegan or otherwise— fresh and mess-free. They help protect the environment too, because they are made with renewable materials and are reusable, minimizing plastic waste in the environment.
“When you go on picnics and have leftover food, you can use food storage items instead of throwing food. The key is sustainability.” Istad bags have a double-seal feature that keeps contents fresh and even tightly seals in liquids without leaking—so you can store those leftover toyo or suka na sawsawan (with hardcore servings of sili from hell). This pioneering goody bag is made from sugarcane and has a high renewability percentage, pointed out Cruz. “It is reusable, so hindi nasasayang.” Aside from sugarcane, IKEA uses another renewable material such as corn in its versatile polyethylene plastic bags.
Since imagination offers a preview of life’s coming attractions (I forget who said that—either Einstein or Mr. Fischoeder from Bob’s Burgers), it is important to encourage kids to map out their imaginary stories and settings, and to—according to Henry Miller—give voice to the daring.
IKEA offers the Måla series, which are eco-friendly, non-toxic, and child-safe art materials along with an easel where kids can draw and paint to their heart’s content. From portable drawing cases (P790) to whiteboard pens (P150 per four pieces), the Måla series has everything your child needs when creativity kicks in.
“We put high priority on safety. Our Måla colored pencils are non-toxic,” Cruz explained. So, you can rest easy while little cloned you starts painting his or her mini-Guernica or something that resembles a canvas regurgitated on by a cat who ate your Rembrandt or Van Gogh oil paints with a dash of Purina (yes, based on a half-true story); the point is, love it just the same. Creativity and safety go hand in hand.
IKEA is likewise a supporter of local livelihood initiatives. Since it opened, IKEA has been collaborating with social enterprise Rags2Riches as its sewing-service provider in the Pasay store. Rags2Riches taps artisans from marginalized communities and provides them with a source of livelihood. The skilled workers can tailor-fit IKEA products according to customer specifications and even add embroidered elements for personalization.
“We did not partner with Rags2Riches solely for charitable purposes,” stressed Cruz. “We have a business need and we saw that Rags2Riches can fulfill that need according to the standards, the quality, the level that we’ve set.” The artisanship of the Rags2Riches is exemplary, she added.
In the age of Midjourney and chatbots, it is important to keep track of the simple yet significant aspects of life: family, bonding, sharing, nature, etc. To sit on a Tärnö (in my case, a Poäng or an Ekenäset) and take a breather as life—becoming more artificial, unintelligent in many aspects—hurries dizzyingly by. Or maybe chat with loved ones and laugh away all of the attendant pitfalls of existence. Hang, connect, grow. Because, sometimes, you journey even further without leaving where you are.
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Foodies who visit IKEA for the Swedish meatballs will be delighted to discover new affordable food offerings such as meatball sisig with rice and broccoli (P95); pork ribs with barbecue sauce, French fries and broccoli (P490); local breakfast set of longganisa, scrambled eggs, rice, fried onions and pickled cabbage (P120); and veggie balls with organic spaghetti pomodoro and broccoli (P120).
IKEA Family Members also enjoy cool perks ideal for family bonding. This summer, they can avail of partner perks from SM Hotels with up to 20 percent discount on hotel bookings, 20 percent off the Family Museum Pass at the Ayala Museum, and 15 percent off on tickets to see the second run of the Ang Huling El Bimbo musical.
For information, visit www.ikea.ph.