1. Turn the water off when you brush your teeth and teach your family and friends
2. Recycle and reuse everything you can
3. Buy products made using organic ingredients, avoid toxic ones
4. Hold on to your waste till you find a suitable trash can, don’t litter Naija
5. Reuse your plastic bags
6. Buy reusable shopping bags. If you’re offered plastic bags, jump am pass!
7. Turn OFF the lights when you leave a room
8. Car pool, have children in same school go in one vehicle instead of several. Same as workers going to same area.
9. Buy energy-saving light bulbs
10. Connect to one borehole, instead of digging several (if you absolutely need one)
11. Buy 2nd hand products aka okirika, bend-down-boutique or even “tusher” from a thrift store
12. Defrost your freezer regularly
13. Unplug electronics when not in use
14. Use water efficient shower heads or the good old bucket and scooping cup
15. Use a laptop! (It uses less energy!)
16. Ask to have your name taken off junk mail lists!
17. Don’t burn trash and don’t pour them out when it rains.
18. Clean your environment on sanitation days (e.g Keep Aba Clean days) instead of just chilling at home or playing soccer on the streets
19. Print or write on both sides of a piece of paper, better still, do not print.
20. Don’t print account balance from ATM, then dump the paper and walk away. Just view your balance on-screen.
21. Avoid disposable items, those children party packs are the most annoying. They get destroyed even before the party is over.
22. Use natural products like Ori, Ude-aki, etc for your baby
23. Eat healthy feed your children fresh meals. Fashi indomie, coke-with-meal and fanta-with-snacks
24. Use public transportation. Enter BRT, El RUFAI bus or whatever your State has offered
25. Carry along a reusable water bottle, forget pure water and bottled water
25. Buy anything with an Energy Star symbol
26. Turn the AC off and open windows for natural air
27. Fix leaky taps, pipes etc. As in, call a plumber sharp sharp.
28. Turn off your monitor when you leave the computer
29. Set your computer to hibernate (or sleep) after 30 minutes or less of no use
30. Only wash when washer is full, not with one bra or boxer in it
31. Do not waste food
32. Plant a tree. Give seedlings as gifts, like back in the days, when couples got nkwu(palm fruit) seedling as wedding gifts, to be planted as a symbol of growth, prosperity and fertility
33. Patronize local dealers ( Ariairia, Balogun) or buy online. Forget Dubai.
34. Make sure your tires are inflated and your car isn’t emitting like a chimney.
35. Air dry clothing
36. Wash plates with water in a bowl instead of running water
37. Use cloth nappies if you can, instead of disposable diapers.
38. Breastfeed, if you can. No food gets wasted, and no waste from washing bottles.
39. Use a moon-cup for periods, instead of sanitary towels or tampons.(this one hard o!)
40. Use less detergent
41. Keep the freezer full
42. Ask why the streets lights are still on, when it’s meant to be off. Switch off your security lights at dawn
43. Be concerned about the environmental state of your street, community or area
44. Buy in bulk. E.g Go to Oyingbo once a month, if you have the bulk money, instead of going to Ajah market weekly.
45. Give out things you don’t need or trash them responsibly. Wrap them well for the dumpster to find useful, since recycling doesn’t work in Nigeria.
46. Use washcloths not paper wipes
47. Read digital books, newspapers and magazines
48. Make your own beauty products if you can
49. Be vegetarian
50. Support local environmental legislation. E.g ask why gas is still being flared, where is our ecological funds, what happened to the UNEP report on Ogoni land
51. Educate yourself and tell others
52. Turn your generator off sometimes, manage without PHCN. Go for solar or other renewable sources if you can
53. Don’t use your weaves/attachments once and trash. Reuse or give away.
54. Have fewer children, stop over-population
Feel free to add yours to this list.
Happy 54th Independence Nigeria.
Ugochi Oluigbo is an award winning Eco-Journo, and UNEP Young Environmental Journalist. She advocates for a green lifestyle in Nigeria.