The Auto Trader Sustainability Network is made up of different people from across the business. Each of them is on a different sustainability journey of their own, and this series of articles gives you the chance to hear their unique story. Meet Isaac Jones.
When did you first become aware of the need to be more sustainable?
Growing up in a vegetarian household, eating clean, organic and seasonal was very much part of my childhood, partly through choice, somewhat necessity. Money wasn't the most abundant thing, so I was taught to 'waste-not-want-not' from a very young age. I remember being taught about climate change at secondary school and the causes being a big debate, natural vs human …the verdict was out; I was probably about 12 and remembered thinking there should be more focus on how we could improve the situation! That influenced my choices going forward; I studied Geography at university. Contrary to the jokes about colouring, it was mainly focused on the interaction between humans and the environment rather than colouring INSIDE the lines on a map.
What interests you about sustainability?
Sustainable development is critical to the planet's survival as we know it, and our generation will be judged by history if we fail to take steps in the right direction. That probably sounds a bit heavy, but sustainability is probably one of the most critical issues of our time.
What was one of the first changes you made on your journey to be more sustainable?
I've been fixing bikes, cars, computers and electronics since I was 11. Since I was old enough to pick up a toolkit, I've always fixed things rather than buying new. I don't think this was a conscious decision to be more sustainable at first, but it certainly is now; I've never really been into buying consumer tat or binning things without first having a bash at fixing them.
What change has been the easiest?
I mentioned I was raised veggie…well, that stopped when I hit my rebellious teenage phase; at about 26, I went back to it, and I honestly think it's easier than eating meat!
What change has been the hardest?
Renovating my house and trying to recycle/minimise waste is virtually impossible; the construction industry/materials etc., really needs development to be more sustainable.
What future changes would you like to make/are working towards?
I know as a society we need to move away from ICE vehicles (conventional vehicles powered solely by an Internal Combustion Engine), but I have a massive love for anything mechanical, and that's hard to reconcile. I have a diesel campervan, and I know that isn't the best choice; maybe it will go; perhaps I'll put some scavenged EV parts in it one day... you think I'm joking.
Can you recommend some simple changes that others can make?
We all make choices about what we eat daily, and if you can make less meaty choices, that's a huge step. Oh, and if you think something is broken, give it a google; you might find out you can fix it, saving it from destruction and making yourself feel great in the process.
Can you recommend any resources to help people understand their impact / start their sustainability journey?
Try to become aware of your lifestyle choices and their impact; that's the first step to positive change. If you want to boost your knowledge, watch some of the Netflix documentaries available, then you can learn, and it's not too taxing. Also, follow some green influencers, and then you'll be building awareness whilst scrolling through Instagram 😉.