Julien Pritchard interviews Shaz Rhaman

How long have you been involved with BfoE?

Since January 2012.

How did you first find out about BFoE and what made you decide to get involved?

I’ve known about BfoE for a while, but not had any specific knowledge about the work  BfoE did. I have done quite a bit of volunteering on other issues like poverty and mentoring but nothing about the environment. Climate change is a vital issue so BfoE seemed like a good place to start. I was also keen to join a group local to me, because I wanted to learn more about the city I have lived in all my life.

What do you do at BfoE?

I’m in charge of Fundraising for campaigns to help make Birmingham a more sustainable and environmentally friendly city. I’ve been involved in a couple of events including cooking organic Burgers at the Summer BBQ, which raised a reasonable amount of money. The big project I am currently working on is the “Funny in the Honey” comedy gig. Eight top Birmingham comedians will help us raise money to prevent the decline of bees. This event could be the biggest fundraiser in BfoE’s history. I am very excited about it.

What do you think is the most important environmental issue and why?

The recent melting of the Arctic ice is a scary demonstration of how Global Warming is happening right now. In Birmingham we have an ambitious target to reduce carbon emissions by 60% by 2026, but no idea how to get there. We could be a pioneering city but we lack the conviction of means to invest and make the required sacrifices to get there.

What’s your best green tip?

Not enough people know that things like TV’s left on standby still use a considerable amount of power.  A report by DEFRA and the Energy Saving Trust found that, on average, households were wasting £86 a year on appliances on standby.  Wasting less is a vital part in the battle to reduce fuel poverty.