The Big Green Dot: One Home One Planet

Hey there, I am Nureen Glaves CEO of Feed Me Good and IKEA Live LAGOM Influencer, you are probably reading this blog as it’s a part of our National Feed Me Good, the IKEA Live LAGOM Challenge and it’s also my Big Green Dot Promise which I made at IKEA’s One Home One Planet event in April. Let me give you some details about this life changing event which made me courageous enough to create a national challenge asking you to live a plastic free July.

Picture Nureen on the left and Actress and Host Nomzamo Mbatha

In my day to day my team and I from Feed Me Good develop and provide health and wellbeing projects and services to different communities across London and most of the UK. We believe strongly in teaching life skills and building and strengthening all the communities and companies we engage with. My personal work with IKEA started three years ago through a competition asking IKEA Families “If they had £300 what they do with the money?”. I was teaching a cooking class at a school at the time and I said I would use that money to teach my community.

Picture: IKEA Plant-based meatballs

They must have liked my answer as I was selected to be a part of the Live LAGOM programme which means “Just the right amount” in Swedish. IKEA Live LAGOM products, workshops and communities help everyone to live a more sustainable life at home. Fast forward three years and I have carried out two Facebook Live sessions, featured in two online and physical brochures, and finally, won The Edie Award for CSR Engagement Marketing Campaign of the Year! I was so happy to be a part of an incredible team.

For my first official work trip, I was asked if I wanted to go Kaarst in Germany for a two-day ‘IKEA One Home One Planet - It’s time to act now’ conference, focusing on climate change.

It’s day one and we all arrive at IKEA’s first leading sustainable store, where we are surrounded by a team of 200 people from all backgrounds: activists, social entrepreneurs, brands, The United Nations and other very important people. I can’t lie I was like wow, this conference is bigger than me. I hope I can contribute well.

Picture Hege Saebjornsen IKEA Country Sustainability Manager UK & IE

and Sharon McCracken Sustainable Life at Home Leader IKEA UK & IE

There were some brilliant speakers in attendance – specifically two speakers that really spoke to me; Filippo Grandi (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) and Jessy Tolkan Head of Labs and Executive Director at Purpose Climate Lab.

“The refugee crisis is the challenge and an opportunity to change and have a positive impact”

In his speech, when Filippo Grandi said that people need to see refugees as an asset – it really hit home. Refugees form a huge part of my community and my family. We are all human and it takes a huge amount of courage to uproot your whole life to go to an unknown land, build a new life for yourself and your family, much like my mum did for me after my accident.

Picture Filippo Grandi, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

It was also so amazing to see the commitment made by Jesper Brodin, CEO of Ingka Group on employing more refugees as part of their business strategy.

Picture Jesper Brodin, CEO of Ingka Group

Jessy is this powerhouse woman that I truly admire! She was telling the story about this young polish woman who belongs to the catholic faith and was concerned about climate change. She was frustrated that so many of her Catholic peers were not doing anything about climate change, so she teamed up with different churches and priests to make over two million prayer cards that were distribute to various communities to bring awareness and inspire action. It showed me that it starts with individual passion; those little actions layer up and inspire communities and they can lead to overwhelming change.” Jessy Toklan, One Home One Planet.

Picture Jessy Tolkan Head of Labs and Executive Director at Purpose Climate Lab.

After hearing all the talks, we were divided into our team and I was a part of the “Healthy and Sustainable Living’ group. I delivered a quick presentation around the issues my communities face from both the consumer but also the ecology side. From our team we listed all the issues and put them into categories; after that it was time to put in the work!

In-between this time Aileen and Sharon and I had a Live LAGOM stall in in-store where we raised awareness around Live LAGOM. As usual my feet were killing me and I asked a lovely gentleman if I could I buy some slippers, but the gentleman happened to be Stephan Lavfervberg, IKEA Store Manager. Nureen seriously you have a knack of meeting people from the top. He was kind enough to give me slippers from the IKEA Bathroom section and I must say they were so comfortable I wore them the whole day. And yes, I have no shame when my feet hurt.

Picture: Stephan Lavfervberg, IKEA Store Manager

In my team with Roxie and Olio we came up with a programme called YEP NOW - a Youth Education for the Planet Now. We presented our idea and won! I was so happy, and I got to present with the rest of my team in front of everyone (yes in my grey slippers!). I have been working on bones of the project, hopefully in the future I can continue to be a valued partner and make YEP Now happen.

During the conference Jesper asked us to make a pledge on a big green dot, I promised to make YEP NOW happen and do a plastic free challenge.

I met some truly inspirational people who really inspired me to not be scared of my big ideas and that the work that I do with Feed Me Good and IKEA in our communities will make a positive different to the world.