TV presenter Helen Skelton on why she’s backing the Smart Energy GB campaign
Q Do you think having a young family has made you feel differently about the environment and being more sustainable and energy efficient?
A Definitely. My children love being outside; they and I are better people after a run around the park. I spent my childhood ankle deep in mud, halfway up a tree or wading in water. It sounds very Famous Five and it was. I want my children to have the chance to do that and quite simply if we don’t start looking after our planet, our kids won’t have a ‘great’ outdoors to explore.
Q Tell us about the Smart Energy GB campaign and how you got involved?
A I’m passionate about creating a sustainable future for our planet and encouraging people to appreciate the small steps that we can all take to achieve that. I’m delighted to be playing a role in celebrating those areas and communities around Great Britain who are taking their future into their own hands. It’s nice to be involved in something that is recognising what people are doing right. I have two young children, I feel that it’s important to take responsibility, in our homes and communities, and show our children how to do the same. I particularly love this campaign because it’s celebrating the positive steps that people are taking – getting a smart meter installed and recycling.
Q What have you been doing to tackle energy efficiency and being more sustainable in your own home?
A Well, we had a smart meter installed, which helps us monitor our energy usage in near-real time, which has prompted us to make small changes to be more energy efficient. For example, I LOVE a cup of tea. I probably drink more than I should. But I’m now very mindful of not filling the kettle to the top if I’m making myself a cuppa. Our kettle is only ever filled for the amount of tea we’re drinking. I’ve started buying toilet paper, kitchen towels and pocket tissue made from bamboo and the packaging is recyclable. I also take shorter showers. When training for the marathon, after a long run it was really tempting to have a long shower, but shorter showers are so much more energy efficient and use less water (and turning down the temperature to make it cool was good for my muscles).
Q It’s been a year of good causes for you, between running the London Marathon and swimming the English Channel. What do your family think about your achievements?
A I don’t really go on about it, so they don’t say much! They like that my swimming means we go to the beach a lot – I swim for 30 minutes then we play in the sand for hours so they are happy about that! When I was running, I just used to run up and down hills with them in the park, they thought it was hilarious!