Newbie TV presenter Penney Poyzer is to Ecology what Jamie Oliver is to Cooking – the personality who will popularise living off the grid, and make it accessible to all.
Penney will be on the nation’s screens in June when BBC2 launch “There’s No Waste like Home,” a series about how to green your home. Penney takes families through the steps needed to save money and save the world – reducing energy consumption, recycling, detoxing the kitchen and bathroom. By the time she’s finished, the whole country will be talking eco-friendly.
The TV show is about becoming what Penney calls “conscious consumers.”
“Its not just a programme to me,” she told us during a break in her shooting schedule. “Its making sure it really changes the lives of the families I meet. That’s what I’m after.”
“I go and observe them for 2-3 days — look at their utility and shopping bills, see how much waste they are producing. I tip out all their waste. One family had 17 black bin bags per week, which was all being sent to landfill. They got it down to one bag being sent to landfill, and the rest being separated and recycled into the various local council schemes.
“Its the changes people go through I am most interested in,” said Penney . Three of the families are still in contact since we filmed them. They have kept up the recycling. I have done things like install insulation in their loft spaces; drastically reduce the temperature, from 28 to 18 degrees; get them to make friends with their central heating control panel; move them away from the chemicals they have under their sinks.
“Family quality of life improves because they are jointly sharing the responsibilities., Quite often the kids are in charge of sorting the waste,” she says.
Penney got into the eco-movement in the 80s. Seven years ago she and her husband moved to the greenest home in Nottingham. They have a website http://www.msarch.co.uk/ecohome/ and offer tours to the public and businesses. You can even book in to stay there.
As project co-ordinator of Green Apple Award winning EcoTeams (part of Global Action Plan) she transformed a heavy-on-bureacracy, 10 year old household programme from Holland into a simple to use action plan that was hailed by the Parliamentary Environmental Audit Committee as one “that is changing hearts and minds”
Penney personally led teams of households who took part in the EcoTeam programme. Over 250 households in Nottinghamshire have saved an average of £250 a year by simple life style changes, and become far more aware of their impact on the environment.
The EcoTeam programme has attracted great interest not only in the UK but internationally as well. Penney’s efforts have been recognised at the highest level. Last October she was invited to number 10 by the Prime Minister and Mrs Blair to attend a special reception for 100 people acknowledged to be leaders of green practice in the heart of communities.
We will hear back from Penney in June.