Kathryn Thomas: ‘I try to make changes — no more baby wipes!’

Kathryn Thomas was in her element on Cork’s Inchydoney Beach as she helped launch Seaside Adventures, a new series of activity breaks now available at Inchydoney Island Lodge & Spa in idyllic West Cork. Pi crture Clare Keogh .

In conversation with Esther N McCarthy

“I was always aware of the environment and our role in protecting it, but I definitely became more conscious of it when I was working on No Frontiers.

For two reasons, one I was doing so much long haul flying, and I was aware of my carbon footprint through that amount of flights and also we were visiting places from Central Africa to the Antarctic to Papua New Guinea, to the Maldives.

We were visiting islands after the tsunami happened and seeing the effects of that in Asia really stayed with me. I was seeing first hand how climate and weather affected the world from when I was in my 20s, but since I became a mum to Ellie I’m definitely more conscious of the little things we can do for the environment.

I feel there’s such a focus put on the environment now, the fact that countries and governments are actually sitting up and saying we have a problem is so important. It’s no longer background chat, it’s headline news now and I suppose becoming a mum, the two coming together, it was like a perfect storm, pardon the pun.

Ellie is a year and two months now, she is at that age when she’s so interested in the world around her. I’m an outdoors freak anyway, so we’re always out and about, hail, rain or shine, we’ll get outside.

She’s walking now and we have a little route up to our childminder and even since she started walking that about three months ago, I can see how connected she is to the world around her.

We stop and we talk to the trees and the leaves and the flowers, I think that’s part of the learning process for both of us. Helping her understand how things grow, letting her get her hands dirty in the soil, I see her picking up stones and of course putting everything in her mouth!

I love just being outside with her, teaching her, seeing her interaction with the environment around her, I love that.

We’re lucky in that we don’t have to do a lot of piling her in a car, that we’re so close to everything.

We’re lucky where we live, we have the Phoenix Park on our doorstep and we have the War Memorial Gardens. For me, a big part of it is simply being outside.

And, oh my God, she is animal obsessed! She loves the ducks, dogs and cats. We have two puggles at home, Peter and Poppy, and Arthur the cat.

Seeing her relationship with our pets, I think that’s an invaluable part of childhood, that love they give each other, it’s so great for a child. I feel it’s part of my job to instill that sense of empathy with animals in my daughter, a connection with the world around her.

Since I’ve become a mum, I’ve changed little things. I’m more concious of things I’m buying, the amount of plastic, where things are coming from.

When I was doing Weather Live recently, we were talking to a Grow It Yourself group and something that really stayed with me was how far our food travels to end up on the supermarket shelves. He laid out a packet of tomatoes and they were ones I buy all the time. There were three different types of tomatoes from three different countries.

So in one package there was tomatoes from, let’s just say Australia, Italy and Mexico— all in the same packet! So we’ve been growing our own tomatoes recently out our back garden. I love tomatoes, I’m just back from Ibiiza and the tomatoes there tasted so good, so I want to try and grow some proper tomatoes.

We’ve been growing our own strawberries for the last year and we have a herb wall, so we grown rosemary, sage, thyme, lots of other stuff, and it’s great for Ellie to see we’re using our own stuff to cook with too. We have a food co-op down the road, it just opened, I love going there with Ellie.

I feel better buying broccoli that’s not wrapped in plastic. It’s a great idea, you can refill your pasta and other staples. I use Eco Egg, it’s a natural laundry detergent and you can get refills. I’m trying to be more aware of our cleaning products.

When Ellie is sitting on the floor, everything that drops, she has it straight into her mouth licking it, (in between licking the dog) so we’re trying to use some of the eco-friendly products with no chemicals in them.

And, of course, the tips from my mother with the lemon juice and the vinegar are handy— it’s so trendy now again! Just last night we were squeezing lemon on the counter, lashing a bit of vinegar around it and a bit of bicarbonate of soda, fizz fizz and off you go. I try to do my bit in others ways too — we were buying so many baby wipes! But we’ve switched to a sponge, arse in the air, sponge, job done.

View this post on Instagram

1 wk away from my princess and I’ve been drinking her in since I got home. I wanted to run home from Ibiza a million times if I’m honest. So so hard being away from her but I’m fully recharged and rested to be the best mama. And I had such a fab time w @amaya_yoga who was also missing her gang. it’s tough (not the luxurious @ibizaretreats 😂 and I don’t take for granted how lucky I am to be able to be able to hop on a plane) but it’s important to take time for yourself, without guilt (where possible 🤦‍♀️) To all you super human mamas and papas doing your best, parenting, working, juggling #allyouneedislove ❤️🙏 ..... and more time GOD DAMN IT!

A post shared by Kathryn Thomas (@kathrynthomasofficial) on

We’ve swapped kitchen towels for bamboo sheets, you fire them into the machine and reuse them.

They’re little changes, but that’s what it’s all about. I’m optimistic about the future of the planet, because I’d hope what we do now will filter down to Ellie’s generation and create real sustainable action and implementation.

Kathryn was in Cork to launch the Seaside Adventures in Clonakilty, a new series of activity packages designed and hosted by the team at Inchydoney Island Lodge & Spa.

Kathryn founded Pure Results Health and Fitness Retreats and they are running this summer at The Avon, Co Wicklow, Seafield, Co Wexford and Parknasilla, Co Kerry throughout the summer.

More on this topic

Have you ever wondered what would happen if you mix Billie Eilish with a group of Irish classical musicians?

Premier Inn owner Whitbread sees sales drop as Brexit woes bite

Video: This is what a puppy yoga class looks like

Love Island's Joe Garrett taken to ITV 'safehouse' after backlash

More in this Section

Pauline McLynn shines in creative homecoming for Enda Walsh's The Small Things

Double act: Why talking to your baby is essential

Ask a counsellor: ‘My mother’s become so high maintenance since moving closer – what should I do?’

Victoria Pendleton on veganism and why she thinks everyone should eat less meat

Latest Showbiz

Have you ever wondered what would happen if you mix Billie Eilish with a group of Irish classical musicians?

Love Island's Joe Garrett taken to ITV 'safehouse' after backlash

Toy Story 4 star Tim Allen says Disney franchise should emulate Star Wars

Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda announces next Broadway project

More From The Irish Examiner