It seems that the green issues we are facing are being incorporated and supported by more and more people, but I didn’t expect to read that England and Manchester United captain, Rio Ferdinand, is leading the way for energy efficiency in the footballing world. In an interview with the Guardian he explained how he has started changing little things to start being more eco-friendly.
“It’s about the future…natural disasters, sea levels, ice melting, fires…people have to understand that’s down to humans. Governments need to let the public know how we can become energy self-sufficient,” Rio stated.
Rio seems very keen on not only changing his own lifestyle, but educating more people and inspire them to make the changes too. “It all comes down to education. If people aren’t educated, they’re not going to get behind something.” I couldn’t agree more, the world needs to not just become more aware of the green issues we are at battle with, but to start learning what we can do as individuals to reduce our carbon footprint.
So, what’s Rio doing himself to make a difference? Well, for starters he is the face of E.ON’s Energy Fit Programme, which is a scheme that organises competitions for local sports clubs to get energy savings, and because of its involvement with the community Ferdinand was more than happy to help.
However, although he knows what needs to be done, he is fully aware that it will not just happen overnight, but he is “just starting his educational journey,” but will do the simple things to start.
He started by focusing on improving his home and changing aspects of his lifestyle to be more green. “Little things like moving your sofa from in front of a radiator, changing lightbulbs. You get a better feeling about yourself, and the little things add up. It’s like, how many pennies make a pound?”
Rio’s home had an Energy Fitness test and the surveyors suggested he turned his thermostat down and switch off appliances properly, which Ferdinand has managed to turn into a game with the kids! “We make it like a game – who can turn off all the switches before bed”. He was also recommended to move his freezer away from the radiator in the hottest room in the house meaning it has to work much harder to stay cold. “I remember in my flat on the council estate, the radiator was behind the fridge. Basic things like that – you just don’t see them until you are educated in the field.” It seems so simple, but many people do it, you would think it’s common sense, but you’ll be surprised at what you miss.
Another big one that is again a small change, but one of Rio’s pet hates is putting the right amount of water into the kettle. “At first I thought, how can that make a difference? But when you think about it, it’s obvious”. He added, “…if someone fills the kettle up they’re gonna get…” miming the punishment he has in mind.
So they are the small changes, but what about bigger ones like solar panels, or an electric car? He says he is looking into solar panels and high specification insulation but is currently “talking to the architects about that”, as he will be moving into a new home soon. Would he also be considering Anglian’s new EcoGain windows to take his green home to the next level?
What about the electric car? Rio currently owns a Jaguar and had a reputation as a bit of a speed demon when he was younger, but how have things changed? “These days I’ve got kids and it’s just about getting them from A to B.” He even claims he saw an electric car with a £2 million price tag on it! If Ferdinand can’t afford it then what chance do we have?!
Rio is focusing on what he can do for now to reduce his carbon footprint, but has he thought about taking up a political stance on these green issues? “That’s a long way down the line for me. I think the government are trying to make a concerted effort, but it all boils down to education. People need to understand it…it has to start more grassroots.”
Education is key in Rio Ferdinand’s mind and he is definitely on the right lines, the government does need to step up their plans to change the UK’s energy efficiency, and education is the best route for this. Hopefully with the help of the influential England captain more people will get on board and learn how to be energy efficient.
Anglian Home Improvements raising the standard since 1966. Visit the Anglian website for information on our new EcoGain windows.