By Alexander Sims and Jake Humphrey

Alexander Sims

I was driving an electric car back before it was ‘cool’.

Those who follow me will know my love of electric mobility and how I take every chance to prove its brilliance. Today we are seeing huge progress in the uptake and production of these vehicles, not forgetting an entire racing series dedicated to showcasing its success. But, thinking back to when I first own an electric car – back when it wasn’t ‘cool’ – people would scoff at the idea of it. Plenty of myths flew around about its unreliability, short range and speed. It was the reason why some people were unconvinced by the idea of Formula E when it was first envisioned by Alejandro Agag way back in 2011.

For me, Formula E was the dream combination. It tied together my personal and professional interests perfectly and highlighted the strength and speed of electric vehicles. Taking part in this series, as well as offsetting my carbon footprint for any other races I attend, are just some of the steps I take in my own efforts to help save our planet.

For some time now, I’ve been trying to make everyday choices and incorporate habits that make my lifestyle more sustainable. Alongside driving an electric car day-to-day, one thing I’m particularly aware of is cutting down on single use plastics and avoiding them where possible. At the racetrack I drink from a re-usable bottle, I use a bamboo toothbrush, and I’m very conscious of packaging when I go food shopping.

After starting to wear glasses in my late twenties, I soon realised just how damaging they could be to the environment also. Until the launch of Coral Eyewear, for whom I am an ambassador, there was not a single eyewear manufacturer on the market that used recycled materials that suited my needs. Frames are made from virgin plastics and simply thrown away – adding to the problem and not helping to rectify it.

Coral Eyewear create their glasses by removing fishing nets from the sea. The nets are made out of the most durable plastic you can get and it’s basically infinitely recyclable. Wearing frames that are not only sustainable but also remove damaging waste from our oceans, is – alongside my use of electric vehicles in my day to day life – one of the easiest yet most important efforts I am making in this fight.

Jake Humphrey

We have to make changes if this planet is going to survive. That’s basically what we are talking about here. There is nothing bigger.

But I also understand that people don’t want to be told you can’t do stuff – you need to change your life, life needs to be less fun and less exciting and less good looking… it doesn’t! It’s just the little changes that can make a huge difference. Like Alexander, I try to make minor alterations in my day to day life, for example just recently I bought some chewing gum that has no plastic in. Usually when you finish with gum, you chuck it and thousands of years later that bit of plastic is still sitting there. You don’t even realise but you are contributing to the deterioration of the planet.

I think it’s important to get across the message that changes can be small, and also won’t have significant impact on your life. When it comes to fashion, and more specifically looking at Coral Eyewear, you can look as good, if not better, than any other sunglasses brand and help the planet at the same time.

As Alexander mentioned, Coral uses fishing nets to create the frames. This is so important because discarded fishing nets are one of the biggest polluters in our oceans and are harmful in so many ways. To give you an idea if the problem, straws – which became a focus of the world’s efforts in recent years – make up just 0.003% of the plastic in the ocean, whereas discarded fishing nets make up 50%. It’s about focussing our attention in the right places, and that’s exactly what Coral eyewear are doing.

Both Alexander and I encourage you to make those minor changes to your lifestyle, because, if each of us were to wear some recycled sunglasses or buy an electric car, millions of small efforts would create one vast global campaign.

For more information on the changes you can make, see the recent advice given out for #WorldEnvironmentDay