REDUCE WASTE PRODUCTION, REUSE WASTE TO REDUCE, RECYCLE WHERE POSSIBLE
- BASICS OF GOING GREEN
- CONSERVE RESOURCES
- CONSERVE ENERGY
- SAVE THE EARTH…REDUCE WASTE
- REDUCE POLLUTION
- REMEMBER, A CLEAN ENVIRONMENT IS A HEALTHY ENVIRONMENT
- EFFECTS OF POLLUTION
- REUSE TO REDUCE WASTE
- LEARN ABOUT RECYCLING
- RECYCLE WHEN POSSIBLE
- PLANT A TREE
- ANTI GREEN ACTIONS
- GLOBAL WARMING & CLIMATE CHANGE
- CARBON FOOTPRINTS
- GREENHOUSE GASES
- GREEN EMPATHY FOR THE LESS PRIVELEDGED
- BE A GREEN AMBASSADOR
- GREEN CLUBS IN SCHOOLS
- GREEN CAREER OPPORTUNITIES
BASICS OF GOING GREEN
‘Going Green’ is aterm used to describe actions take, to save the environment from conditions that are harmful, wasteful and counterproductive to the earth and mankind.
Most favoured option REDUCE – lowering the amount of waste produced REUSE – using materials repeatedly RECYLCLE – using materials to make new products RECOVERY – recovering energy from waste LANDFILL – safe disposal of waste to landfill Least favoured option
Basically, going green means adopting lifestyles as individuals, communities and nations, which are beneficial to the environment and sustainable for the earth. Going green is about preserving the air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we eat. It is about saving the environment from total degradation.
• Going green encourages us to conserve natural resources and not consume in wasteful manners. • Food, energy, forests reserves, water supplies or other natural resources are precious and limited in supply. • We must cultivate the habit of consuming only what we need, and encourage those around us to do the same. • Going green leads to a healthy sustainable environment. • Let us maintain, keep and preserve the earth, by making little contributions and sacrifices towards nurturing it and preserving it.
Think green, take the following positive steps and actions:
• Reduce waste production • Reuse items to reduce waste • Recycle when possible • Conserve resources • Conserve energy • Reduce pollution CONSERVE RESOURCES
Save water, one of the most precious resources: little drops of water make the mighty ocean…
CLOSE THE TAP Imagine the amount of water you will save, simply by not leaving the tap running when you are not directly using water that runs from it. • Close the tap when brushing your teeth; don’t waste water by leaving the tap running. • Close the tap when you are having a bath and your bucket / bath is full. • Close the tap when you are washing dishes, only open when you are actually rinsing the plates. • Close the tap when not in use and make sure taps are not leaking.
- Switch off the lights when you are not in a room. • Don’t leave the fridge open for longer than necessary. • Don’t leave your water boilers on longer than necessary. • Don’t boil a full kettle of water unless you need it • Walk when possible instead of riding in a car • Lets remind our parents about solar energy, energy storing inverters and other energy efficient options that we can use at home instead of generating sets. • Pull the plug on appliance; conserve electricity. • Switch off the television and your game consoles completely, don’t leave them in standby mode when not in use.
- Remind your parents to buy energy saving bulbs instead of the regular bulbs • We ALL have a role to play in conserving energy.
ENERGY SAVING IDEAS
SAVE THE EARTH•••REDUCE WASTE REDUCE WASTE – if not you, who? Little lifestyle adjustments and changes can make a huge difference:
• Use water dispensers where possible instead of plastic bottle of water. • Pack reusable items off to charity homes or give them to the less privileged people that you know instead of piling them up in a bin • Reuse polythene bags instead of taking new ones each time you need a bag. • Take your packed lunch to school in a reusable bowl instead of a disposable one. • Take your drink to school in a reusable water bottle or flask, instead of a disposable water bottle. • Use washable kitchen cloths instead of serviette paper. • Always remember, discarded waste does not magically disappear, it mounts up at rubbish dumps and can take years to breakdown.
WASTE REDUCTION IS EVEN BETTER THAN RECYCLING
Industrial Pollution – Fumes From A Factory Polluting the Environment
• Cars and motorbikes emit fumes that pollute the environment, so walk instead of taking a car or motorcycle whenever possible to reduce pollution. • Generator fumes create so much pollution in the environment; don’t ask your parents to switch on the generator for your personal use unless it is absolutely necessary. • Play outdoors until the power supply is restored. • Don’t burn bushes or rubbish, because fumes pollute the air with carbon
REMEMBER, A CLEAN ENVIRONMENT IS A HEALTHY ENVIRONMENT
Dispose waste off appropriately in the allocated area provided in your homes and neighbourhood to avoid polluting your community with waste and rubbish piles that encourage bad health and various illnesses.
EFFECTS OF POLLUTION
Health effects of pollution
• The effects of pollution on1he environment and health of people that live in the polluted areas is very hazardous.
REUSE TO REDUCE WASTE
• Send clothes and shoes you have outgrown to the orphanage. • Keep your toys in good condition, so you can give them out to those who do not have any when you are done with them. • There are so many children that do not have toys, clothes or even food, always think of fellow humans and help whenever you can. • Reuse items you have outgrown by donating them to the underprivileged children in the society.
LEARN ABOUT RECYCLING Recycling is the process of reprocessing waste products into new products for reuse. Recycling is one of the most effective steps towards reducing waste piling up.
RECYCLE WHEN POSSIBLE • Pure water sachets can be recycled into big refuse bags. • Food waste can be recycled into fertilizers for agricultural use. • Bottles can be collected and sent back to manufactures to be recycled and reused. • Old newspapers can be recycled into writing pads and notebooks. • Parts of old electronic items can be recycled and used to produce new items.
Recycling has numerous advantages: • Less energy is required to recycle old products into new ones than producing items from scratch. • Various items such as paper, plastic, glass, metal, clothes or electrical equipment can all be recycled. However items need to be sorted and grouped separately before recycling commences. • Recycling saves space on earth by avoiding waste piling up into rubbish dumps and sent off to landfills. • Recycling prevents chemicals from building up underneath the surface of landfills and escaping as poisonous liquids and gases, which are dangerous to humans, plants and wildlife.
Recycling Leftover Food It is much more environmentally friendly to recycle as much as possible to keep waste down. Start by recycling food in your kitchen and using this as a fertilizer for vegetables that your grow in your back garden. • Recycling reduces pollution by cutting down production time, because less energy is required to reproduce items when recycling. • Recycling reduces energy consumed, recycling reduces pollution. • Less energy is required in recycling than producing from scratch. • Less production time, less pollution time.
RECYCLING SAVES ENERGY
PLANT A TREE Plant a tree, make a difference: trees are extremely beneficial to the environment. Trees help to purify the air, and reduce the impact of pollution, by producing oxygen and absorbing carbon dioxide.During their state of photosynthesis, trees breathe the opposite ways from humans. Trees breathe in carbon dioxide and exhale oxygen, they act like lungs to the earth, by helping to reduce and combat the much spoken about ‘Greenhouse Effect’ of trapped gasses in the environment by naturally removing the carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
Trees provide shade to the earth and helps prevent the soil from drying out and becoming unfertile. Trees are habitats to birds and other creatures; they provide shade to humans; improve the quality of air around us Atmospheric temperature of the earth is lower where you have trees. This helps to combat the effects of global warming by keeping the climate cooler. Trees do not just beautify the environment, they purify the air and contribute to the survival of human beings and all earthly creatures, they assist in conserving energy by reducing the amount of energy required to cool a tree surrounded environment.
We should cultivate tree saving habits, if we cannot go completely paperless, let’s write on both sides of paper to cut down on its use. Let’s recycle and purchase recycled paper for use whenever possible. Did you know1hat we could save 17 luscious trees simply by recycling one ton of used paper: imagine the amount of shade, air purification apart from beautification that we get from 17 luscious trees. Plant or save a tree today and help combat the effects of deforestation.
The less paper we use, the more trees we preserve. Let’s try to cut down on our office supplies, by going “paperless”. Paperless reports, notes, statements and more electronic communications via email to reduce the amount of paper consumed in offices and elsewhere.
ANTI GREEN ACTIONS Pollution, wastefulness and waste production is a huge problem that contributes to environmental degradation, deforestation, global warming, climate change and increased carbon footprints.
We must take action before it is too late. Daily anti green activities must be minimised as much as possible.
Deforestation occurs as a result of trees being cut down, burnt or removed in large quantities, mainly for commercial, agricultural or infrastructural development.
We need trees to protect the earth, its inhabitants and the environment in general, trees provide shade to the afore mentioned from the harsh sunrays. Lack of forest trees lead to exposed areas becoming deserts or barren land and deprives forest creatures of their habitats. Research shows that more than 70% of the earth’s creatures live in the forest, if deforestation continues due to urban renewal and agricultural development, all these creatures of various species will be rendered homeless and most likely die in large numbers till they become extinct.
Deforestation has several negative effects on the environment that gives cause for alarm. This makes it important for us to take steps to reduce it occurring. We must note that not all deforestation acts are intentional or controllable, some are as a result wild fires spreading and consuming large forest areas or overgrazing of wildlife creatures and other natural factors. However, it is our duty to take responsibility for the environment that we live in and do all within our power to preserve it. We all need to join hands to protect the earth’s ecological balance and prevent further deforestation. Make a difference: plant a tree today!
GLOBAL WARMING & CLIMATE CHANGE Global warming refers to the rise in temperature of the earth’s atmosphere, which results in climate change and other extreme and harsh conditions that could make living very intolerable to human beings and other living creatures.
Going green is the only way to slow down or combat global warming. As the earth temperature rises, some significant adverse changes may occur, that gives us cause for concern.
Think of the footmarks you leave behind when you walk on sandy or on muddy grounds, these are called footprints. Carbon footprints are invisible, but they exist and have adverse effects on the environment.
Fossil fuel is oil that is has been refined into petroleum products. Whenever fuel is used to power a car, generating set or any other type of machinery, carbon footprints are left behind. Fumes from engines and machines, emit carbon dioxide that cause pollution in the environment.
When we ride in cars, we leave carbon footprints because car engines emit carbon dioxide. When we watch television or play computer games, we leave carbon footprints, because the fuel that is used to power the plant that produces electricity to power our televisions and computer games. Carbon footprints are made whenever you engage in activities that require the use of energy or any form of machinery that requires burning fossil fuels to power.
It is important for us to make a conscious attempt to reduce our carbon footprints. When we become conscious of them, we are likely to be more inclined to work towards reducing them.
A pictorial depiction of how we leave carbon footprints • It is very important to incorporate green habits in to our lifestyles. • Cut down on activities that create pollution and waste. • Walk whenever it is possible, instead of riding in a car. • Reduce the use of electricity whenever you can.
Little lifestyle changes by each and every one of us will amount to a huge reduction in the carbon footprints produced.
SUSTAIN THE ENVIRONMENT
Just imagine this occurring in the next 100 years… The impossibility of farming, that leads to famine, extreme heat, so harsh that animals die off and become extinct.
EFFECTS OF ENVIRONMENTAL DEGRADATION
Imagine in hot countries, rivers dry up and drought occurs, there is no water available to drink, plants, trees and humans are all affected by drought. It’s not a very nice thought is it? SO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT TODAY! In colder countries, sea levels could rise due to melting glaciers and cause floods in cities near coastal areas.
EFFECTS OF GLOBAL WARMING
Due to global warming and climate change, we hear of cold countries such as Europe complaining about mixed up seasons, such as snow falling at spring time and summer running into autumn when it’s supposed to be cold.
EFFECTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE As oceans become warmer hurricanes, monsoons, tornadoes and thunderstorms are more likely to occur even in countries that have never experienced such natural disasters before.
GREENHOUSE GASES Think of green houses that are used to keep plants and crops lush, healthy and safe as part of an agricultural process. Greenhouses are meant to keep the temperature and conditions, balanced and suitable for whichever crop is being planted within a particular greenhouse.
Carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas is referred to as the main gas responsible for most of the atmospheric warming, because, human beings breath out carbon dioxide.
Unlike the typical greenhouse, the earth is not enclosed and as such, the atmosphere mixes with other gases in circulation to form gas molecules that are responsible for keeping temperature suitable for living things.
Without this atmosphere and greenhouse effect, the earth would be at zero degrees Centigrade.
GREENHOUSE EFFECT However when there are too many greenhouse gases, temperatures rise and get out of control and this is when we hear people discussing about global warming due to greenhouse gases.
Gases are produced from our regular daily activities that require us using energy, such as driving cars, running generating sets, using electricity while watching television and so on.
We know that vapour and gases such as methane, nitrous oxide as well as carbon dioxide exist in the atmosphere, it is not possible for these gases to stay in one place, they mix with the atmosphere and create a greenhouse effect on the environment.
FOSSIL FUELS Fossil fuels are the largest greenhouse gas emitters in the world. They are non renewable energy sources that formed from decomposed remains of creatures and plants that died several millions of years ago and became covered deep within the earth.
TYPES OF FOSSIL FUELS There are three major fossil fuels, namely, Oil, Natural Gas and Coal. Oil is refined into gasoline and petroleum products, Natural Gas is used for cooking and powering power plants that produce electricity, whilst Coal is used for cooking and processed to power electrical plants.
GREEN EMPATHY FOR THE LESS PRIVILEDGED
• “Green Empathy” means giving, sharing and being considerate to the less privileged in the society. • Green Empathy aims at teaching our children that going green means consuming less, not being wasteful and being considerate to fellow humans as well as the environment that we live in. • Green Empathy towards fellow humans reminds us to cultivate habits of consuming less resources and amenities whenever possible with the aim of donating the saved excesses to the needy ones in our society.
We must remember when we are enjoying the comforts of life, that there are children out there that do not have basic necessities.
• Plant a tree under supervision, but be totally responsible for its watering, nurturing and growth. • This way you are contributing towards environmental sustainability as well as learning how to nurture, care for and be responsible for Iiving things.
BE A GREEN AMBASSADOR
All hands need to be on deck to save the environment from further pollution, exposure and degradation. Now that you know what being green is all about, you are a bonafide G.E.F.T.Y Ambassador. It is now your duty to preach the ‘Green Gospel’ and assist in reinforcing green habits by making little changes in your habits and lifestyle.
Being a G.E.F.T.Y Ambassador mandates you to: • encourage and motivate people around you to help save our environment and participate in the going green crusade. • offer anyone you come in contact with, little ‘Green’ tips that you have learnt about in this book or elsewhere. • engage in ‘Green’ activities and practice them whenever you can. • remind your siblings and friends to turn off the lights when leaving the room to save energy. • encourage friends to plant a tree under adult supervision. • remind mum and dad to buy energy saving bulbs instead of the regular ones. • give your friends a lift to school to reduce the number of cars on the road polluting the air with their emissions. • remind people to recycle whenever possible. • form a recycle group in your area and encourage friends to take part. • remind anyone you can, not to leave taps running and to conserve water. • get involved in outdoor games that don’t require electricity to cut down on energy consumption. • switch off televisions and games completely when you see them in standby mode to stop them consuming energy • reduce waste by dissuading friends from using disposable plates and containers: reusable ones can be used instead. • save water by putting a big bowl or water barrel outside when it rains to collect water to wash cars, clothes or toilets. • make it fun, lively and impactful.
GREEN CLUBS IN SCHOOLS
Girls Guides Boys Scouts Brownies Red Cross GEFTY Ambassadors
In Ogun State in Nigeria, the above listed clubs have all participated in a tree planting exercise as their own contribution to a sustainable environment. Schools in Ogun State support and encourage the GEFTY ethics as part of their extracurricular activities. Find out which after school club or green extracurricular activity group you can sign up for in your various schools and communities. Remember a ‘Green’ environment is a healthy one. GEFTY Ambassadors always share green ideas with friends.
GREEN CAREER OPPORTUNITIES
With the advent and realisation of the need to •go green• across the globe, ’green’ job opportunities are catching on and spreading like a wild fire too.
It is in your interest to factor this in and position yourself to be able to take up environmentally inclined jobs and prepare yourself for the job market. It is wise to embrace all environmental education and learning opportunities that come your way.
You should think about this when choosing subjects towards your desired future career.
There will be jobs in the existing professions as always, but you could carve a niche for yourself and be a step ahead of your peers by empowering yourself with green knowledge now and decide what area to specialise in later.
Whether you major in sciences, humanities or arts, there will be ‘green’ job opportunities suitable for all such as:
Waste Management Consultant Conservation Executive Solar Energy Technologist / Solar Sales / Solar Installer / Energy Efficiency Trainer Business and Entrepreneurship (Recycling} Aquatic Biology Botany Fisheries and Wildlife Environmental Chemistry Environmental Conservation and Sustainability Environmental Health and Safety Environmental Policy Forestry I Forest Resources Management Geographic Information Science Horticulture Natural Resources and Environmental Law and Policy Oceanography Resource Economics
Soil Science Geography Water Sciences and Resources Management Zoology
REFERENCES All pictorial depictions, charts and visual illustrations used within this book, were found and compiled from various websites on the internet linked to the ‘Going Green’ topic.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Olufunso Amosun is the wife of the Governor of Ogun State, South West of Nigeria. She holds a BA.ED from the Obafemi Awolowo University and a Masters degree in Guidance and Counselling from the University of Lagos.
She is the Founder of Uplift Development Foundation, a Foundation that targets alleviating poverty in the society. ‘UPLIFT” is actually an acronym for Understanding People’s Limiting & Inhibiting Factors Today.
Through this hugely successful foundation, she has contributed immensely to the socio-economic development of the less privileged in Ogun State and beyond in various capacities.
Mrs Amosun’s programs for the less privileged include but are not llmited to: UPLIFTlng the Aged, UPLIFTing the Physically Challenged, UPLIFTing Unemployed Graduates, UPLIFTing women living with HIV/AIDS, UPLIFTing SS3 students, UPLIFTing U15 Grassroot Football, UPUFT Food Outreach programs and UPLIFT Micro Credit schemes for Jess privileged women and widows to mention just few
Green Education for the Youth’ (GEFTY) is Olufunso’s first book, it falls under one of her UPIJFT programs tagged ‘UPLIFTing the Environment.’ GEF1Y is tailored towards educating the youths of today about the basis, basics and necessity of joining hands to sustain the environment. The GEFTY initiative strives to create awareness and bring about an awakening amongst the youth. The ultimate goal is to inspire the upcoming next generation to rise up and take responsibility towards saving the environment that they will live in.