Governments around the world are encouraging people to factor the environment into their everyday lives and purchases. The aim of this focus on environmental sustainability is the reduction of our environmental footprint.
The Ecological Footprint of an area is a measurement of how much land it takes to support one person in each country. The sustainable average is 2.2 hectares per person and according to Wikipedia, Nigeria’s ecological footprint/person is 1.16. This shows that Nigeria’s level of consumption is insufficient to it needs and this is because many Nigerians continue to burn fossil fuels in large quantities for energy by adding extra carbon CO2 to the atmosphere. The consequence of using of fossil fuels is worsened by deforestation over the years.
According to the U.S. Energy information administration, traditional biomass & waste contribute a whopping 83% of primary energy consumption while oil, natural gas and hydrocarbon contribute 11%, 5% and 1% respectively. In 2011, Nigeria also consumed about 9,000 short tons of coal.
The environmental impact of our activities (Energy, Water, Waste, and Transportation) is directly proportional to our environmental footprint and we’ll be looking at various practical ways in which we can protect our environment and also make it eco-friendly.
Focusing on four key areas where households exert pressure on the environment – energy, water, transport and waste
- Population growth and water demand is ever increasing. This makes it necessary to use available water more efficiently. Consumers need to start taking strict measures in making sure that daily consumption of water is minimized by reducing the amount of water used in brushing /bathing. Sometimes, people forget to close taps tightly after use so water connection checks should be done regularly. Recent initiatives that promote installation of water sensors in the bathroom/kitchen facilities should be encouraged.
- Energy consumption can be reduced by turning off the lights in our homes/offices when leaving home or at the end of the night, use computers with energy saving monitors, and always turn off all socket switches when not in use.
- Nigeria is Africa’s number one car buyer and with an average of 70,000 vehicles bought in Nigeria annually, there is one vehicle for every 12 citizens. The fume cars emit are very dangerous to the atmosphere and to our health as well. This can be controlled by carpooling with other people to work, school or outings. Driving can be reduced to once a week
- On a daily basis, we tend to see items like food wrappers , used clothes, water bottles, soda bottles, used shoes etc in our environment. Instead of having them lie around to cause flooding by getting stuck in drainages, they can be recycled. Used clothes/shoes, can be given to the less privileged or to charity while ceramics can is a better option than disposables.