“A cornucopia of stuff – you think ‘I might just need that’.”
Also known as Downsy, Ian Downs is the Sam FM Head of Breakfast and the station’s Programme Director.
He’s a committed recycler. So he jumped at the chance to be part of award-winning photographer Gregg Segal’s project to illustrate the scale of old electricals hidden away in UK homes.
During the shoot, Downsy was amazed to learn two key things.
First, he was shocked to find out that there are enough cables hidden away in UK homes to wrap around the earth five times. Downsy said he himself has accumulated numerous cables over the years and had either left them in a drawer or thrown them away without even thinking about recycling.
“We did a cupboard clean and it was just like a snake of cables that came out. And then we went up to the loft. There was a toaster up there, an old kettle, laptops, the chargers for laptops, headphones – a cornucopia of stuff that you think ‘I might just need that’.”
“But because technology advances so quickly, actually you’re never going to use it again.”
The second thing that moved Downsy was the potential old electricals have and what they could be made into. He was inspired to hear that these seemingly innocuous old electricals contain materials that can be extracted and remanufactured into defibrillators.
As someone with Type 2 Diabetes, and a family history of heart disease, Downsy sees the potential these precious materials have – not only for making a difference in his own life, but in the lives of countless other people.
“We could almost quadruple the amount of defibrillators in the UK with the stuff we’re talking about. That’s really inspired me to think about it more, because the more defibs we have the more chance I’ve got of staying alive.”