When it comes to renewable energy, James Dunmore was lucky to learn from the best. The British TV star and model may be most well-known as one of the cast of the hit TV show, Made in Chelsea, but he spent his younger years growing up on his father’s renewable energy farm, surrounded by wind turbines and solar panels.
That childhood has cemented his commitment to making our planet a brighter place. “I’m in charge”, he tells us “of how my daily life helps or hinders others. My habits can have profoundly positive or negative results, and it’s all dependent on such simple factors, like shopping for seasonal produce, or choosing chemical-free cleaning products for my home.”
The keen but conscious traveler, who’s climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, toured the US and dived in the Maldives, believes that with small changes, and setting achievable personal targets within our daily lives, we can collectively have a drastic impact on the future of our planet. It’s these values, which Hyundai shares, that have led him to IONIQ’s electric vehicle vision.
What does ‘taking charge’ mean to you?
I think that ‘taking charge’ in the work that I do means being accountable for the actions that I take, and knowing that those actions aren’t going to cause harm for future generations.
Knowing that we [at Dunmore] produce green electricity for up to 1,000 homes is something that I’m very proud of, and I take pride that we are doing this, and can keep doing this, for future generations – while causing no harm to the planet.
Where does your interest in Renewable Energy come from?
I first became interested in renewable energy when I was at university. I studied geography and geology, and we did a lot of modules on traditional energy supplies, like coal and oil, and how bad they were for the environment – and how dirty they were.
We also did modules about renewable energy, what positive change it can bring and how the power of nature- be it wind, sun, or tidal could help us generate geothermal, biomass, or hydrogen-powered energy. And that fascinated me. And I thought, what better way is there than trying to use what’s around us every day, to create green, clean energy that will provide for our everyday needs.
How do you think renewable energy will impact the future of our planet?
Going forward, I think renewable energy will slowly start to take over from finite resources. At the minute it supplies us with a very small segment of our energy supplies. I think with added technology and over time we should be able to create green energy more efficiently.
What are some tips you have for being more sustainable?
First of all, set yourself realistic goals and targets with the goal of being one step closer to living an eco-friendly lifestyle. You need to set yourself targets that are achievable in your everyday life then once you’ve set those targets, you need to make a conscious effort to try to reach them. We would all love to be 100% sustainable, but it is impossible so just remember, no matter if it is a big step or a small one, it's still a step closer to achieving your goal.
You can make a huge difference with just a bit of environmental knowledge, a change of a few products, and by looking for eco-friendly alternatives. There are plenty of easy things you can do to make a change.
What do you do on a personal level to live more sustainably?
The main thing I do on a personal level to be more sustainable is eat a plant-based diet. I’m not fully plant-based, but about 98%. It’s crazy to think that the greenhouse emissions from the livestock sector can be compared to the emissions of cars, vehicles, trains, and taxis in the world. It’s unimaginable, really. But if everyone had a hybrid or an electric car, imagine the possibilities and the amount of change we could bring to help our planet. So if we could all reduce our meat intake it would massively decrease our carbon emissions.
I also recycle and reuse old clothes and furniture, and if we go to the supermarket I always try to take my own bags, and use reusable bottles for water. And with products we use in the house, we always try to get chemical-free and paraben-free.
What does the future look like to you?
Going forward, I would love to be able to expand the renewable energy company we have here with another wind turbine and more solar panels. I will continue to eat a plant-based diet, as I believe this does have a huge impact, and hopefully with people seeing that I have that diet, that I’m healthy and happy and that it’s not a problem, people will be tempted to give it a go themselves.
I think we need to make people aware of how fragile the planet actually is. If everyone makes small changes, all these small changes can add up to a drastic difference overall.
How do you take charge on a daily basis?
I think at the end of the day it’s down to us to take charge of how sustainable we are – be it in work or play. There are certain parameters we’d all love to be within – we’d love to be 100% sustainable, but it’s simply not achievable. And we’re all guilty of certain things.
I for one travel a lot; on the flip of this I try to offset my miles by giving money to charities, be it for planting trees, or other things that can offset carbon emissions. I think as long as we all take control of the scenario and are aware of what we’re doing and make small changes, I think it’s possible to have a far more sustainable future, and for our impact to be less harmful on the planet.
Five ways to live a more sustainable life according to James Dunmore
1. Have a plant-based diet, or at least try to eat less meat, especially red meat. Try a meat-free Monday to start.
2. Buy food that is seasonal to your country, so you’re not getting food from abroad shipped to you.
3. Recycle goods in your house – it’s so easy to do nowadays. If there are clothes you don’t want then get them to a charity shop. Furniture can be bought by others and reused.
4. Have a reusable water bottle – how easy is that nowadays? Try to avoid plastic water bottles.
5. If you do travel, then try and offset your miles to charities that might plant trees, or do other such good for the planet.
James Dunmore has shared his thoughts on sustainable living for the launch of Hyundai’s new electric vehicle line-up, IONIQ.