Garden World Nigeria

From the blog

10 Simple Lifestyle changes Nigerians can implement to stop Climate Change

  1. Lets avoid using the ‘P’ for Plastic bags. Most places you shop in Nigeria, from market traders to shopping malls, Nigerians are using plastic bags at an alarming rate. Shoprite, our favourite consumer shopping store in Nigeria provides small size plastic bags at checkout. So each shopper could end up using 10 bags to pack their shopping because the bags are so small rather than 5 or none at all. This is nonsensical and needs to stop. Avoid disposable plastic bags altogether, as these create a large amount of unnecessary plastic waste likely to end up in landfill and contribute to greenhouse gases. Another down side to the ‘P’ is that millions of tons of plastic waste ends up in the oceans each year. There are great concentrations of micro plastics in the oceans. Simply carrying a reusable bag when you go shopping will help make a difference.
  2. Let’s say goodbye to plastic cutlery and straws too. Nigerians love to eat,  party and celebrate and so we find that our use of plastic cutlery at Owambe parties and christenings is alarmingly high. Why not try carrying a reusable cutlery kit or your own food flask with you when eating in the office, having a takeaway, at a party or travelling.  Do you really need that plastic straw in your drink? No you don’t!
  3. Avoid cars and choose public transportation or bicycles for short trips instead. If you have to take a car to work or to drive then simple eco drive measures would also work at reducing your carbon footprint e.g., reduce speed, adopt car shares to work, turning off your engine when you pull over, reduce frequency of payment at the pump.
  4. So many gift bags, gift wraps we use to give gifts at weddings, functions and parties in Nigeria, gift wrap covered in sellotape, gift tags or gift paper that contains foil or glitter is not recyclable, the shiny stuff is not paper and actually plastic based. Try helping the environment and switching to paper wrap, recycled wrapping paper or fabric wrap. It is also good practice to recycle your wrapping paper. I do this all the time and keep old paper for reuse, nobody knows the difference.
  5. Share food instead of wasting it. Restaurants, food stores and local eateries in Nigeria should sell food about to expire at discounted rates as done in developed countries rather than throwing it away. If you are not eating the food you have at home and it is about to expire or spoil, why don’t you decide to give it to others who need it and will eat it. Such a simple act of kindness goes a long way.
  6. Avoid or reduce intake of Palm oil. It was reported that 12 million hectares of tropical forest was lost in 2018 – the equivalent of 30 football fields disappearing per minute. (BBC Global Forest watch). The high demand for palm oil is a cause of deforestation in rain forest regions. Not only is palm oil commonly used in food preparation in Nigeria, it is used to manufacture many of the products we use such as lipsticks, instant noodles, shampoo, detergent, margarine, chocolate, biscuits, soap and the list goes on. Other names for palm oil are – vegetable oil, palmate, stearic acid, sodium stearate, sodium laueth sulphate, sodium lauryl sulphate, palm kernel are just a few of the other names for the same thing. So check your food labels to see if anything in your shopping basket contains palm oil and reduce your intake.
  7. Choose organic, locally produced food over imported brands and meats. This is because depending on how and where your food of choice is produced it can have a low or high environmental impact. Growing your own vegetables or rearing what you need or eating Nigerian made produce lowers the farm to plate footprint. Buying cornflakes made in UK is not necessary when we could just as easily by a Nigerian brand of the same. I actually prefer Nasco (Nigerian) cornflakes to Kellogs (imported).
  8. Always unplug your charger, mobile phone, laptops when not in use thereby saving energy and money. Mobile phones and laptops and docking stations use energy regardless of whether they are charging or not. The voltage transformers on the plug consume energy all the time whilst plugged. This is known as electrical leakage. Many Nigerians leave their phone chargers in plugs and extensions all the time. Simply removing your charger from the socket when not being used will eliminate electrical leakage.
  9. So many Nigerians use tablets and laptops, mobile phones to stream online content, video streaming on websites such as Youtube account for 60% of the worlds internet traffic, generating 1% global emissions. We can reduce our energy consumption by simply switching off video streaming apps like Netflix or Youtube when we are not watching. You could download videos rather than watch directly online.
  10.  Deleting your old emails will reduce your footprint too. A normal email has an average footprint of 4g of C02, adding to the energy consumption of data centres to store them. If we delete unwanted emails, unsubscribe to what we do not need, empty our trash and spam emails regularly then we simply reduce the energy used to store it.

Adopting some of these simple steps will help each of us on a personal level to reduce our carbon footprint and make an environmental difference to our lives. Change starts with the small steps each of us makes regularly and consistently. We will cover this feed again in the coming weeks with more tips.