Mon, 08 Feb 2021
WHEN Ollie Hunter wrote his second book on adopting a greener more sustainable lifestyle – Join the Greener Revolution – he did not know that the world was soon to be facing a health crisis that would impact society across the globe.
He said: “I wrote the second book in late 2019 and it’s weird how much has changed since then. During the first lockdown in particular we all had to stop. The peacefulness and slowness was so different from how our lives had been up until then. It was just so quiet.
“I think it gave people the chance to reflect on their priorities and gave us all a chance to stop and look at how our lifestyles could be improved. It certainly changed the way I looked at the business.”
Mr Hunter is a former MasterChef semi-finalist and, along with his wife Lauren, bought and restored the Wheatsheaf pub in Chilton Foliat, just outside Hungerford.
When the Hunters bought The Wheatsheaf “it needed a complete renovation”.
Mr Hunter said: “We found sustainable alternatives as we restored it. The first three years were really hard work, but it taught me that lots of little decisions each day can make a bigger positive impact overall.”
His first book 30 Easy Ways to Join the Food Revolution was published a year ago and encouraged people to rethink their lifestyles in order to create a more sustainable and friendly environment.
In his latest book, Mr Hunter uses the analogy of a tree to explain how people can easily make changes that need not be daunting, but can grow to be an important part of our lives. He doesn’t just look at food, but everything in the home and everyday things that we take for granted. As well as hints and tips on transforming our lifestyle, the book also includes some of his favourite recipes.
He said: “Lots of little decisions each day break down into fun little things that we can achieve. Then when you put them all together you have made a big change – and for the better.”
He also added that he has made plenty of mistakes along the way: “I tried washing my hair in vinegar and bicarb of soda for a while – that really didn’t work! But I found a Lush product which is organic and works perfectly – sometimes you have to let the experts provide you with the right solutions.
“We are all in this process together and one thing that I think people will realise is that less really is more.
“Clothes are very difficult in terms of sustainability, but they are part of our identity – at the most simple level they are on us. So, if you buy one good thing instead of three cheap things, it will last longer and make you feel good about yourself.
“By making little adjustments in our mind-set and approach to things we can really make a difference and have a wider positive effect.”
Mr Hunter explains how he sees us as ‘transformers’, rather than ‘consumers’ of energy.
“By being transformers we are instantly creating something beneficial, it’s a more positive approach,” he said. “Organic food and products may cost 10 per cent more, but you get better value out of them – the products last longer and in the case of fruit and vegetables you can use every last bit of it.
“I make sure there is zero waste from our food. You get amazing flavour and every single bit of the product is good for you.”
Mr Hunter said: “Sustainability is a long-term vision with immediate wins. You can do more with less and if we do that collectively the change is huge. The coronavirus crisis has definitely made people look ‘closer to home’.
“For instance, the local farm that supplies a lot of my fruit and veg was sending out about 60 boxes a week before the pandemic. They are now supplying about 140 a week and are at capacity.
“We are the power – individuals have the power to create a positive revolution going forward. We are all connected and can do this together.”
Ollie Hunter’s book Join the Greener Revolution is published by Pavilion Books.