Boston, MA - Boston Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference stepped off the ice and into the community over the last couple of days of his NHL break to do his part in helping the environment.
On Friday, Andrew met up with kids from the Boys and Girls club in Charlestown at the New England Aquarium and taught the eager youngsters a little bit about being a friend of the environment.
“It was almost just like hanging out,” Ference said. “If you asked the kids about environmental impact and decision, they knew everything. They were sharp and obviously they had been talking a lot about it in school and learning a lot about it.
“I kind of just got to take part in the games and explore with them and learn from the staff here. I was able to just be part of the conversation instead of talking to them because they were very sharp. It was cool.”
Ference took part in activities with the kids, including matching pictures that abused the environment with the appropriate solution to the problem. The kids looked to Ference for answers, and he didn’t steer them wrong.
Ference was a natural as the kids looked to him as their role model. The kids couldn’t have had a better role model, as Ference knows how important it is to set a positive example.
“It is important for me to stand for something positive and the fact that I am a hockey player in this city kind of opens up the ears of some kids and I might as well use it for some good as opposed to something negative,” Ference said.
“Some athletes go down the wrong path and make a lot of mistakes. Unfortunately they really serve as bad role models, but there are a lot of athletes that serve as really good role models.”
Ference made another major difference two days later by donating $5,000 to the New England Grassroots Environment Fund’s “Boston Grant Initiative” and participating in a “community energy rebuild” that was organized by Cambridge Home Energy Efficiency Team (HEET).
He worked with volunteers to weatherize a house in Cambridge by installing energy efficient light bulbs, low-flow faucets and more.
“The priorities for my group was to change the light bulbs so the CFLs (compact fluorescent lights) were the number one priority,” Ference said. “After that it was getting the low flow faucets on and cutting the water usage.
“On the sinks I think the water usage was cut in half and in the shower it was cut by an eighth or a quarter.”
He also helped reduce the cost of heating by eliminating some of the holes in the house where warm air was getting out and cold air was coming in.
“If you go around the house and check for leeks, where hot air is escaping and cold air is coming in, a lot of those will be around the outlets and stuff,” Ference said. “So the third thing was to eliminate some of those holes.
“That was our final test to measure how much air was leaking out of the house at the end of the project compared to at the beginning.”
With Ference’s help, HEET was able to significantly decrease the amount of warm air that was escaping through the house and Ference knows how important this is in order to better the environment for future generations and certainly displayed his dedication.
“It’s a big responsibility. Every generation has to not leave a mess for their kids and grandkids,” he said. “It is very important.”