MY SUSTAINABLE LIFE

Jo Wood interview: My Sustainable Life - ‘I live off the grid, generating my own energy and growing food’

The environmental campaigner and entrepreneur tells Olivia Petter how sustainability influences her daily life

Thursday 10 June 2021 10:17
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The Independent’s My Sustainable Life is a Q&A series in which famous faces reveal their personal approach to the climate crisis

This week, for My Sustainable Life, we hear from entrepreneur and environmental campaigner, Jo Wood.

Previous guests on My Sustainable Life include musician Professor Green and adventurer Ben Fogle.

Wood is the founder of Jo Wood Organics, a paraben-free range of beauty products and fragrances derived from her own passion for saving the planet.

Here, she explains why her favourite vegan restaurant is her own kitchen and why she recently planted 70 trees in her back garden.

The most sustainable decision I made in the past year was

It has to be buying an off-grid house where I generate my own energy and grow my own fruit and vegetables.

Since buying my house, I’ve also planted 70 trees to help re-wild the field.

My least sustainable guilty habit is... 

Using diesel for my back-up generator.

If I ruled the world, I would make it more sustainable by…

Banning processed food.

When I want to feel in touch with the natural world I…

Dive into my wild swimming pond in my back garden - it’s the best way to feel at one with nature.

If I could invent one thing that would make my life more sustainable it would be…

Inventing an organic plastic that is totally biodegradable.

Plastic has become such a big part of our lives which many people rely on, and I would love to be able to invent a biodegradable alternative.

My sustainability hero is…

Founder of Ecotricity, Dale Vince, which provides renewable green electricity and gas for homes and businesses.

Other sustainability heroes of mine are Patrick Holden who headed up the Soil Association and is founding director of Sustainable Food Trust, and Craig Sims and Jo Fairley, founders of Green & Black’s. They’re all utterly brilliant!

The one thing everyone should watch or read about the climate crisis is…

At the moment a good one is Seaspiracy which looks at the environmental impact of fishing.

Read more: 7 biggest claims from Seaspiracy

Some other films which are definitely worth a watch are Cowspiracy, which shows the environmental impact of animal agricultural farming. and Food Matters, the brilliant 2008 film about nutrition.

My favourite vegan or vegetarian restaurant is…

My kitchen! I’m serious…

I’ve always loved cooking for myself and my family, and because I’ve always switched between being vegan and vegetarian, and sometimes pescatarian, I’ve been able to perfect a lot of recipes and always cook up a good vegan or vegetarian feast.

My one piece of advice to  people trying to be more sustainable is…

Buy organic food and organic products. Particularly with buying organic food, it creates a demand for food that’s farmed in a more environmentally sustainable way.

Three sustainable brands everyone should know about

Ecotricity - the energy company which specialises selling and generating green energy and electricity.

Ecofêtes - the ethical homeware shop.

Jo Wood Organics - I’m a little biased but I’d like everyone to know about it! 100 per cent of our product formulas are of natural origin, 95 per cent are organically grown, ensuring that our products are registered with Ecocert.

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