Director interview

Interview with Simon Hall, director of EcoStyle

Video courtesy of Luton News :

Simon Hall and EcoStyle: Our Motivations

 Q: When did you first get interested in the environment - were you influenced or inspired by anyone in particular or is it something that has just grown naturally?

I have always been interested in the environment but it was while studying for a degree in Product Design at the University of Luton that things started to fall into place.  I attended a presentation about renewable energy given by the National Energy Foundation, which I found fascinating.

During my final year, I contacted the National Energy Foundation to ask if they could suggest a design project. They had a hand-made model wind turbine used for school visits, and asked me to come up with a commercial design suitable for mass-production.

Q: Is that what inspired you to set up the business?

A: Yes, designing the Wind Turbine Kit made me realise how important it is to make people aware of environmental issues and how our products could make a real difference in fighting climate change.

Q: Can you tell us a bit about the work of the National Energy Foundation and how it fits with your green agenda?

A: The National Energy Foundation is an educational charity, promoting renewable energy and energy saving measures to schools, businesses and the public.   EcoStyle's range of Renewable Energy Kits has been developed in conjunction with their education team and all our products are endorsed by them. They use EcoStyle's kits in their educational visits to schools.

Q: Why did you choose these very specific products?

A: I love the idea that natural energy is all around us, available to everyone, just waiting to be harnessed. To me it seems so logical to use the abundance of energy from the sun, wind, waves and tide, instead of relying on expensive and polluting fossil fuels.

Q: You are passionate about the environment - what are your worries and fears for the planet?

A: Climate change is real and its consequences could be devastating. I often feel frustrated with the lack of action by the world's leaders - we must act now. My biggest fear for the UK is that subsequent governments will opt for nuclear power instead of power from renewable sources.

The next generation of nuclear power stations will create even more toxic waste, and there are grave concerns about the storage of this waste. I hope our products will educate today's children, who will inherit the problems caused by climate change, and that they will understand and embrace renewable energy.

Q: Global warming affects us all. How can we as schools and businesses do our bit to protect the planet? Do you have any tips or advice?

A: Turn things off whenever you are not using them! Cycle, walk or use public transport to travel into school or work if possible. If you have to travel by car, consider joining a car pool or sharing with someone travelling on the same route.

This will save you money on fuel as well as reducing your carbon emissions. Purchase an energy monitor to see just how much energy your appliances are using. Also, use more recycled products, keep waste to a minimum by recycling everything you can.  Huge savings can be made by ensuring your building is properly insulated, and switching to energy saving light bulbs will have a great impact.

Q: You do a lot of work with schools, how do your products help get the green message across?

A: Our products enable the children to get involved in practical demonstrations, which means it is hands-on and interactive for them; they enjoy the learning experience without realising they are being educated!

Q: You are currently working with schools and organisations in Europe - do you have any reciprocal links set up?

A: We have a number of countries working with us and it would be great to set up some reciprocal links with schools in particular.  I'd be delighted to hear from other schools and environmental organisations around the world that would be interested in doing this.  The environment is a global issue and I think it is really important that we share ideas and work closely together.

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