Jeanette Thomas has worked in media for almost 3 decades. Hosting The Breeze Auckland with friend and co-host Robert Rakete, Thomas gives us some tips about helping the environment, family and what she loves about working on the radio with Rakete.
You are passionate about the environment, what are your top tips helping our environment from home?
I was lucky enough to interview Dr Jane Goodall a few years back and I’ll never forget her impressing upon me how important it is for all of us to do ‘at least a little bit’ because if we do, then it’ll all add up to a lot. The big picture of environmental problems our earth is grappling with can be quite overwhelming but it’s so important that we all just do what we can. So we recycle and reuse as much as possible but our family’s focus in more recent times, has been to first and foremost reduce. We use as little plastic as possible, we have reusable canvas shopping bags and string produce bags and just generally I guess we question if what we’re using or doing is helping or hindering the planet. If it’s the latter then we think twice.
What do you do on a daily basis to help with the environment?
I have a keep cup at work and at home we have chickens so all our food scraps go to them – right down to the big chunky ends of the broccoli. I blitz them up in the food processor with all sorts of other goodies that might otherwise go to waste and every afternoon the chickens get a delicious afternoon tea – they love it and it makes me feel good that we have very little waste as a result.
Have you seen anything recently that you found particularly disturbing with regard to the environment?
My eldest daughter works for a wonderful organisation called Sea Cleaners – they spend their days on boats out on the harbour and in various waterways cleaning up the rubbish and plastic that has sadly found its way into the ocean. The stories she comes home with can be just awful – she finds dead birds with plastic in their tummies and fishing line around their necks not to mention the things that people think it’s ok to dump into our environment! They find so much stuff from couches to trampolines and everything in between – it’s crazy that people think it’s ok to just dump things they no longer want.
Who is your inspiration?
My mum was my biggest inspiration – we lost her two years ago to melanoma and I miss her so very much. She raised me and my brother and sister on her own through our teenage years and as a mother myself now, I’m in awe of how she did that. She was also my everyday person – I either spoke to her or saw her every single day and I didn’t realise until I didn’t have her anymore, just how much I valued her guidance and opinions. She’s left such a huge hole in our lives but they do say the deeper the love, the deeper the grief.
Which season is your favourite and why?
Autumn – for lots of reasons. The colours are so beautiful, it’s not as hot as summer but it’s not cold either and it’s the beginning of the netball season! My youngest daughter, Mia, plays and I love nothing more than a Saturday morning watching her do her thing. My mum never missed a game, either – it was our greatest shared love.
You have been on air in various capacities for almost 3 decades, what do you enjoy most about your job?
I currently work on The Breeze in Auckland and I think what I love the most is that I get to work with one of my best mates, Robert Rakete. He’s funny, he’s witty, he’s kind and we spend the first five hours of every day laughing. I’m pretty lucky that that’s my job. The wonderful thing about radio, too, is that it’s immediate – if something pops up that we want our listeners to know about or that we want to chat about together, then we can. And the hours, as gruelling as they can be, (my alarm goes at 3.15am) have always worked really well for my family – I’ve been able to be around for my kids and all their afternoon activities. The thing with radio is we’re not saving lives but hopefully we’re brightening the mornings of Aucklanders – especially those who’re stuck in the dreaded traffic!
Robert and Jeanette on THE BREEZE Auckland, weekdays 6am – 10am