Yaya Touré, the star footballer (or soccer player to my fellow Americans), joined the offical World Environment Day celebrations at the Expo Milano in Italy today. Touré is named a goodwill ambassador of the event, for using his celebrity to bring attention to the day, which is organized by the United Nations Environment Programme.
Touré told TreeHugger that he is “delighted to be named ambassador” by the UN Environment Programme. He arrived at the expo with the UN Environment Programme Executive Director in a retro-fit electric Fiat Panda. The Panda is only a prototype with a limited range, so for part of the journey to the Expo was also driven in a Tesla.
This year’s World Environment Day theme is sustainable consumption. Touré said that if there’s one issue he hopes he can bring people’s attention to, it’s the issue of pollution created by cars. He said he himself plans to buy a lower-emissions car soon.
But even for people who can’t afford—or don’t have access to—a new Tesla or other electric vehicle, there are still plenty of ways to reduce your transportation-related carbon footprint. Consider switching to a bike or walking short trips, or carpooling and taking public transportation for longer journeys.
Following the issue of cars, Touré said that making homes more efficient and powered with clean energy should be the next priority.
As part of the World Environment Day celebrations, Touré also attended a local food tasting and a cooking class for kids hosted by Slow Foods. The lesson of the day was teaching the students how to cook ravioli, a traditional Italian dish that can use leftovers and reduce food waste. This event happened simultaneously with similar classes in the northern Italian city of Trieste and also in Nairobi, Kenya.
Touré said that helping future generations is an important part of his role as a goodwill ambassador for World Environment Day. “We have to leave kids with a good future.”