APRIL 6, 2018, marks a significant turning point in the history of education in Nigeria, particularly in Ondo state. This is because the first set of students who have acquired a novel and unique kind of education known as ‘green education’, graduated on that day. The convocation ceremony took place inside the beautiful hall of the Green Institute which shares the same facility with Homaj Secondary School, Ondo-Akure Road, Itanla, Ondo State, Nigeria.

The graduating students, each of whom was awarded a nano degree in Early Childhood Education Sustainability, are Elizabeth Adeyemo and Temilade Adegbite. It was a fascinating story of innovation, intellectual creativity, entrepreneurship and career sustainability.


The special guest was Dr. Oyinloye from Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo. The other prominent guests included Mr. T.J. Falowo (Wesley University, Ondo), Mr. Charles Adeyemi (Elizade University), Ms. Akinseye (Adeyemi College of Education) and Ms. Fabunmi (Federal University of Technology, Akure).

The other guests in the audience were students from tertiary institutions, professionals, parents and guardians and well-wishers of the graduating students.


The convocation ceremony began at about 11:30 am with the showing of two fascinating TED talks on ‘The importance of Relationship in Educating Children’ and ‘What Makes a Good Teacher Great?’ respectively. Each of video clips ran for about 15 minutes. The amiable and ever-smiling anchorperson for the ceremony, Miss Odunayo Aliu of The Green Institute prompted the attentive audience to either ask questions or pass comments on the TED Talks. This opened a barrage of elevating critical comments especially from the guests on the high table, led by Dr. Afolabi. He opined that most of the solutions proffered by the TED speakers might not be applicable to the Nigerian situation because of some peculiar hindrances. By and large, everybody finally agreed that sound ‘relationship’ between a teacher and the students he/she teaches is a necessity for the achievement of learning objectives in schools.

After that, Miss Odunayo called on the special guest of the day in the person of Dr. Afolabi (aka ‘Baba Bimbo’) to deliver the keynote address. He was greeted by the whole house with thunderous applause, apparently because he is a respected and popular teacher and academic who is loved by his students especially those in ACE. He presented a paper on “Early Childhood Education for Sustainability”. It was very educative and expertly presented.


The high point of the day was the presentation of their research project by the graduating students. Thus, Miss Elizabeth Adeyemo was called, and she came up and did her presentation on ‘Teaching Children with Learning Disabilities for Sustainable Development‘. It was fantastic, and she got general applause for it.  Then came the turn of Miss Temilade Adegbite whose research work was on ‘Early Childhood Education Curriculum into Prenatal Care Program: A Suggestive Approach‘. She presented it confidently and got the commendation of all.

Of course, as the students were doing the presentations, they were being assessed by a team of distinguished academics who were also on the high table for the purpose. Their assessments would form a part of the final grade of the graduating students. However, after the students finished presenting their research works, the anchor person requested the guests, especially those on the high table, to pass their comments on the performances.


Subsequently, Dr. Afolabi praised the graduating students for their elegance, confidence and determination. He pointed out areas that the students should improve on in their skills and presentations. He also commended the Founder and Director of The Green Institute, Adenike Akinsemolu, for a job well done on the students and prayed that God should give her more power and grace to fulfil the mission of the Institute

Also, Madam Oloyede, the representative of Dr Oyinloye, similarly commended both the founder and the students for their efforts. Other invited dignitaries and members of the audience too did the same.


The Founder and Director of The Green Institute, Adenike Akinsemolu, was called to the podium to give her speech. The speech was short and direct. She briefly pointed out that it was hard to start and continue such a novel idea as The Green Institute in such a challenging environment but that because of her focus, determination and committed Team, the dream is finally a reality. She promised that more was still to come. She finally thanked everybody for honouring the invitation to grace the occasion, particularly the special guest and all distinguished guests on the high table.

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Finally, it was time for taking pictures. It started with group photograph of distinguished guests and the graduates of the day.


With what the first convoked students of The Green Institute, Ondo, displayed on the day of their convocation, and with the kind of comments passed on them and the institute by eminent scholars and academics who witnessed the occasion, I am confident that the institute has started charting a new and availing path for the proper education and equipment of students and the youth for sustainable personal, social and economic development in Nigeria.


(B. Ed & M.A English)

Romance with the Environment 2018

Romance with the Environment.jpg

The annual Valentine’s Day does not go unnoticed; millions of people around the world find it an accurate opportunity to celebrate their loved ones. The peak of the day’s activity is usually marked with the ritual of gift sharing and lovemaking, sadly, that’s not always as good as it sound. Like most Holi-Day, waste is the highlight of the season. Many people often ignore Mother Nature on this love sharing day, while the larger bulk of people gift her with tonnes of waste.


At Green Campus Initiative, Valentine’s Day is a time to #RomancewithEnvironment, a time to reflect on the beauty and loveliness of our Mother Earth. As usual, on Wednesday, February 14, our ambassadors took out time to celebrate with Mother Earth by wiping away some of the dirt that litters her crust. There was a general clean-up event which started about 2pm and lasted for almost two hours.

This may not be particularly a big deal to many people, but we know that mother earth consider it a great show of love. So we invite you to join us as we take #Climateactions to the next level. Stay connected to nature!



Are you in a 'Toxic Relationship?' Break up now! Start a new relationship with the Environment. #CleanSeas

PUBLICATION: The Role of Microorganisms in Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals


Author: Adenike A. Akinsemolu

Publisher: Elsevier


  • Microorganisms can contribute tremendously to achieving the 17 sustainable development goals.
  • The literature on microorganisms and sustainability is enormous but fragmented.
  • This review seeks to unify microorganisms with social, economic and environmental growth.
  • The costs of the industrial set-ups remain a major hindrance in sustainable microbial processes.
  • A global partnership is vital for a cost-effective cleaner production and a sustainable ecosystem.


In January 2016, the 2030 goals for sustainable development were set by the United Nations for achieving environmental, social and economic growth through green methods and cleaner production technologies. The most significant targets of these goals are the fulfillment of basic human needs and desires, since essential human necessities like food, cloth, shelter and health care are still not accessible to a majority of the people despite the great pace in the world's economy. Increased waste products and continuously depleting natural resources have diverted human attention towards efficient green and clear production technologies. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) aim at providing these fundamental necessities to everyone through the intelligent use of sustainable science. In this perspective, microorganisms, which are vital to the maintenance of life on earth, can play a major role. Although most people focus primarily on the disease-causing capabilities of microorganisms, there are numerous positive functions that microbes perform in the environment and hence, a need to explore the microbial world astutely as it can contribute tremendously to sustainable development. In this review, the integration of microbial technology for the achievement of SDGs is being put forth. The scope of the use of microorganisms, points of their control, methods for their better utilization and the role of education in achieving these targets are being discussed. If the society is educated enough about the ways that microbes can affect our lives, and if microbes are used intelligently, then some significant problems being faced by the world today including food, health, well-being and green energy can be adequately taken care of.



  • Sustainable development goals;
  • Green technology;
  • Microbes and sustainability;
  • Sustainable science;
  • Cleaner production;
  • Green growth


Our current practices, including the indiscriminate use of chemicals, increased employment of non-renewable sources of energy and uncontrolled generation of waste products in every possible industrial process, has posed a large threat to the sustainability of the environment. The world now has a greater responsibility to adopt sustainable measures, cleaner production and green technologies so that the ecology of the Earth may be conserved for future generations.

“We don't have a Plan B, because there is no Planet B” says Ban Ki-Moon, the United Nations Secretary-General in 2016 during the United Nation's (UN) 22nd conference on climate change in Marrakesh, Morocco (Ki-moon, 2016).

To collaboratively make an effort in this direction, 193 countries agreed to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), which is a UN's sponsored effort for a sustainable economic development of the world (Costanza et al., 2016). These goals have been classified into five (5) subgroups -People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace and Partnerships (Fig. 1). The SDGs aim at developing the solutions which can enable economic and societal development, but not at the expense of environmental damage. Rather, these efforts emphasise on the environmental protection by preventing and controlling the unlawful exploitation of natural resources (United Nations, 2016a).


Microorganisms have colossally diversified. They play important roles in the environment, as well as being crucial in series of green processes and cleaner technologies, ranging from biogeochemical cycles to various industrial productions. If microorganisms are used judicially, they can contribute significantly to the sustainable development (Kuhad, 2012) (Table 1). A common goal of the world now is the use of cleaner production and green technologies, as well as the preservation of natural resources. Surprisingly, despite the overwhelming advantages of microorganisms in the various contexts of sustainability, it is often trivialized in the discourse of operationalizing the SDGs. Against this background, this paper argues that microorganisms play a fundamental role in achieving the SDG and thus, the paper aims to demonstrate these roles and importance.


Adetokunbo Abigail: Green Personality of February 2018

The Green Personality of this month is Adetokunbo Abigail. She is 21-years old. Completed her NCE programme from Kwara State College of Education where she studied Biology/Integrated Science in October 2016. She is a passionate young woman who ensures that children’s right in Nigeria is protected.

About a year ago, she recently organised a walk in Alapere area of Lagos. The walk was to call older people and parents to action on the need to protect their children and younger ones from all sorts of abuses and also ensure that children have access to quality education. Her love for children drives her. Abigail runs an NGO called Kiyeseni.

The Green Team reached out to her to ask few, interesting questions.


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Here are the highlights of our interview with him;

If you had one minute to sell yourself to a potential investor, how would you introduce yourself?

I work as a support teacher for children with learning difficulties by creating a relaxed and accommodating environment to speed up their learning without any form of pressure.
I also run a babysitting club where we babysit and care for children whose parents want the best care for them as they achieve their goals and desires.
Through my brainchild, Kiyeseni I desire to build safe homes where vulnerable children can feel secure until they're ready to solve world problems, partner with Computer Technology organizations to teach children living in low socioeconomic communities Coding and Robotics.

Tell us about your life as a teacher?

Teaching has been and still is one of the best things I've discovered as my purpose. I find it fulfilling being in the midst of young people and guiding them to think beyond the norm, break the status quo and be the best versions of  themselves. It thrills me.

You run an organization called "KIYESENI", why that choice of name?

I was given that name when I was very little and it means 'Watch out for this one' It resonates with the purpose of the foundation- To watch out for the well-being of children.

Tell us more about your Foundation?

We increase children's access to quality education via our Back To School Programs/School Intervention, raise awareness for and advocate for children's right to Safety and Security.

How long have you been running this programme and what inspired you to start?

This is the 7th year now. What I've seen, heard and experienced as regarding children was and still is my daily inspiration. The desire to see every child get what they deserve.

What are some of your achievements so far?

In 2017, we've been able to:

  • Successfully organize two Walks and a Talk Session to raise awareness on Child Abuse in April and September respectively.
  • Reach out to over 200 children via our Back To School Intervention Program in September.
  • Feed 12 families in December.
  • Assist 10 children back into schools.
  • #HelpASmile of over 2000 children in Adogbo Community (Makoko) in December.

What are the major challenges and how have you been able to pull through?

Sponsorship is one. We've been soliciting for funds from the public.

How have you been able to fund your organization?

My family, team members and concerned persons have been generous.

What was your ambition while growing up?

To be a professional teacher. I'm still on track.

What is it about you that people do not know?

I could be terribly shy. Phone calls make me stutter so I prefer texting or live conversations.

What's your advice to young people aspiring to contribute positively to their community?

Don't give up. It's okay to ask for help. Seek collaboration opportunities with persons/organizations of like minded passion and goals. Do not sacrifice integrity for anything. Don't forget the place of God in everything.

How can people reach you and learn more about your work?

We're on various social media platforms
For Kiyeseni, Facebook : Kiyeseni Foundation
Instagram: @kiyeseni

You can reach me directly via:
Facebook: Adetokunbo Adetola Abigail
Instagram: @abigailadetola
Twitter: @adetoks_abby

The 2016 Green Ambassadors’ Training

The Annual Green Ambassadors’ training was held on the 7th of November at The Green Center in Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo. This year’s training was focused on Agriculture with the theme ‘GET YOUR HANDS DIRTY!’ Lawrence Afere, the founder of the Spring Board Farms and a Washington Mandela Fellow, was invited as the guest speaker to speak on the topic of discussion. Various Schools were also invited along with their agricultural science teachers to participate in the program. The schools included; Homaj Secondary School, St. Monica Grammar School, St. Louis Grammar School, Awosika College, and Ekinmogun Grammar School. 

The Student and Ambassadors were given a platform to ask questions and also contribute more to the topic of discussion. A Solar lantern and two Green T-shirts were given to three Students, one from St. Monica Grammar School and two from Awosika College as a result of the correct answers given from the questions thrown in by the Green Associate, Owoeye Abolade. The Dean of School of Science, Dr. F.O Balogun and the Head of Chemistry Department, Dr. Babajide were also present at the program. Dr. Babajide J.O spoke on ‘biofuel.'

Green Ambassadors and Ministers shared different ideas, opinions, and suggestions as to how agriculture can be incorporated into the school’s system. Sipasi Olalekan coordinator of the L’Afrika Integrated Farms at Ibadan sent a representative on his behalf to speak to the ambassadors on Agriculture as the only way out of the situation in Nigeria. As a take home package, seeds of the teak tree was given to every individual present to plant in their environment.

GCI Green Personality of the Month; Sipasi Olalekan Ayodele

It’s the little things citizens do. That’s what will make the difference. My little thing is planting trees.
— Wangari Maathai (Environmental Conservationist and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate)

It is exhilarating to interact with young people who believe that trees are planted for the future. Ayodele Sipasi Olalekan - an innovative farmer and environmental activist - is one of such people. Sipasi is the founder of L'Afrika Integrated Farms. One of his innovations; the Mobile Kitchen Garden, earned him the 2015 Hidden Eco-Hero Award of Eco-Tunza Generation and Samsung Engineering. Recently, he was listed among the Top 10 Go Green in the City Ambassador of Schneider Electric. Also, he is a Global Shaper of the World Economic Forum, focusing on Global Goal 13; 'Climate Action'.

Having B.Tech and M.Sc degrees relating to best agriculture practices, and being a speaker of eight indigenous and international languages, including Kiswahili and French, makes him stand out. Sipasi has impacted the growing environmental space in Nigeria, especially through his works in rural areas.

For this month; September 2016 (which is also his birth month), Sipasi is GCI's Green Personality, and Oghenechovwen C. Oghenekevwe reached out to him to ask few, interesting questions.

What aspects of your job do you particularly enjoy?

I enjoy engaging rural areas: training farmers and young people on environmentally friendly living, and sustainable best agricultural practices. Running these trainings using only Local Content Initiative (solving problems with available resources), makes it particularly enjoyable for me. Use of these local resources allows rural dwellers relate to the main issues.

In a lead up to the 2016 World Environmental Day, WED, you trained a total of 3,115 youths on environmental responsibility and sourced for 12,000 Khaya Senegalensis seeds for tree planting. What challenges did you face doing these?

Majority of the people in communities I trained did not have a knowledge of environmental issues and climate change. Because of this, it was difficult making them understand that climate change and its effects were real. Also, some parents were reluctant to allow their wards participate, as they were of the opinion that it distracted them from academic work, other people did not show up once they realized monetary gains were not available, and some participants did not want to get down on the dirty soil to plant. Most challenging was the inadequacy of volunteers.

In the report of your contributions to the WED celebrations, you raised a new perspective about how the struggle for survival and economic surge causes Nigerians to neglect nature. Is this neglect only peculiar amongst young people? Please throw more light on this.

Protecting our environment for the benefit of the present and future generations is an all-important and collective responsibility. What we have today is different: environmental neglect exists and it cuts across all ages. The economy and the environment are linked. If Nigeria is to have a comfortable, stable, economy, all activities, or inputs, which would lead to this steady state must be done in our own environment. For example, setting up large-scale industries would only be beneficial to the economy if it does not pollute the environment –air, lands, and water. To me, this is where most Nigerians miss it. In their bid to balance their standard of living, they ignore the ‘environmental side-effects’.

What do you regard as the most pressing problem the environmental sector in Nigeria needs to address?

Waste dumping should be dealt with across Nigeria. It does not make for cleaner and sustainable environments. We should focus on waste management and waste-to-wealth empowerment.


Oghenekevwe, an ambassador at the Green Campus Initiative, currently serves on the World Oceans Day Youth Advisory Council. He loves writing and connecting with people, and he prefers his Garri with chilled water. Engage him via email:  Facebook: /kevwe.chovwen  or Twitter: @c_chovwen


The State of Nature

Now that it’s been almost seven years, I can sufficiently say, I didn’t like Avatar much. To give a bit of context, I’m a film buff and looking back, I was probably more caught up in the experience of it all rather than in the movie itself. Avatar was Meh! It’s the kind of movie you look back at and say, yeah, I saw that. But, it is funny how certain parts and not the whole of things leave an imprint; like the memories of loved ones, where we only remember the good. I’m not going to outright say that Avatar got me interested in conservation, but, it sort of did. There’s this scene right before the big battle where Jake goes to pray to the N’aavi ancestors for guidance and assistance. In it, he makes a strange, but poignant comment. He says “They (humans) destroyed their green.” The ancestors end up providing assistance, and a whole lot of bloodshed commences, but that’s beside the point, this article isn’t about Pocahontas 2, sorry, Avatar. Cameron implies in the film that the world is seemingly headed to state of no nature and from a philosophical point that is mightily interesting to me.

I have read a multitude of classical philosophical works and I frequently ponder the friction between the past and the future. If, for example, the past was dictated by a state of nature, wouldn’t the future, being the polar opposite, be one without it. The State of Nature, as a philosophical thought, presents a world without society. I tend to take it further to mean, a world without the modern man. As the name suggests, nature rules in this environment and there is unparalleled equality among man. Man, without the technological advances of the modern era, only takes what he needs from nature. Nature would also rely on man to foster the photosynthesis loop; and being a largely agrarian society, also for the care and nurture of nature. In a sense, there is equality between man and nature as well. Thomas Hobbes, the British philosopher known for his social contract theory, postulates that in this state of nature, man is preoccupied with doing everything to preserve their life. He contends that life is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short. The state of nature is essentially a world of man versus man. Hence, the need for contracts to negotiate a way out of this compromise- and the subsequent creation of functioning states and governments. Hobbes sees the creation of government as the end of the state of nature. Governance is in itself a form of modernity. As such, I feel there exists a disconnection between the modern man and the state of nature. Evolution postulates the survival of the fittest, and as we gravitated towards a more unequal and unjust society, certain beneficial aspects of the state of nature have been abandoned.

I am not advocating the dissolution of government. If anything, I have constantly argued for the need of government to give conservation more precedence in the global arena. But the key word is preservation. The Hobbesian view is that governments form to ensure preservation of man. It likewise suggests that it is the fear of death that propels man to peace. As such, shouldn’t nature then be entitled to the same rights of preservation, given our equality? Recent estimates suggest that at least 10,000 species go extinct every year. At this rate, in another millennia, the planet would be a desolate place. Man is particularly responsible for this trend. 2015 was the warmest recorded year in history, the second warmest was 2014. Preservation of the environment has been relegated to the back-bench. This is where I feel government should play more of an active role. Hobbes stresses that the role of the sovereign is to ensure common peace and safety. Climate change is the greatest silent threat to the world. To ensure the safety of the future generation, we need to do more to avert the unthinkable.

Man’s greed has been echoed for generations now. It is the predominant assumption in economics. Industrialization and globalization are key to understanding rampant pollution. While I think competition on an international stage is healthy in terms of development, there should also be a rationale motivated by self-interest. Climate change is responsible for extreme weather patterns the world over. Droughts, extreme heats, glaciers melting and rising sea levels have an adverse effect on people’s livelihoods as well as the environment. Add to that the negative health outcomes these changes in the environment brings and you’ll perfectly understand the rising costs of these changes to man. I frequently refer to this discord between the global north and south when it comes to conservation. Less advanced nations bear the brunt of environmental degradation because they are ill-equipped to handle them. There seems to be an information asymmetry with regards to dealing with climate change. Not only do advanced nations have better technologies to deal with them, but information is not delivered in the appropriate channel to developing nations. This is the particular area where I feel government should play more of active role. It is not enough to rely on civil society to spread awareness on this all important issue. Competition should drive our need to preserve the environment- the need to better ourselves, to evolve, to survive.

The art of survival is engulfed in an endless state of conflict. The environment, more than anything charts a timeline similar to the literary conflict narrative. Man against man; where the need to secure resources generates conflicts. Nature is at the nucleus of this stage, albeit, not overly consumed to necessitate a disastrous erosion of the earth. The current stage is that of man against nature. Make no mistake, we are winning this battle but it is one we should not necessarily be partaking in. In most narratives, nature fights back aggravatingly. The stage that follows will be one of man against self. To wage war against nature is to ultimately wage war against ourselves as we stand to lose the most from an eroded earth.

Hobbes Leviathan (last reference, I swear) speaks on the Kingdom of Darkness. It’s not as mythical as it sounds however. Hobbes is talking about ignorance; similar to Plato’s Cave. I feel ignorance is the single most important factor derailing the environmental movement in the modern epoch. The onus, as in the cave, is for an individual to venture out, to seek knowledge, to seek the light. There are so many resources in this day and age to supplement the little you might know about climate change and environmental degradation. But we need sustained interest in the field, be it though organizing symposiums or going the extra mile to include it as a major in universities. Very few universities have programs in environmental protection, and fewer students actually take the bolder step to major in them.

In Avatar, man has taken the giant step into the unknown. After exhausting the resources on Earth, they venture to another planet. Barring any outrageous technological advancement, that seems highly unlikely in the near future. Already, we are seeing nature fighting back. Scientist are predicting more frequent changes in weather patterns around the world. Frequent micro earthquakes have been linked to fracking and extreme heat and cold are becoming more common. Just this past week, there have been several emergencies in India regarding heat strokes. The state of no nature isn’t a prediction, it’s already begun and we ultimately have no one but ourselves to blame. 

Olaoluwa holds a Masters in Public and International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh and a Bachelors from Lincoln University. He writes for the Green Campus Initiative. His core interests include poverty alleviation, environmental sustainability and youth empowerment. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, writing and watching sports. In the future, he hopes to obtain a doctorate degree where he aims to study exclusionary policies that limit youth participation in politics.

Breaking Free from Fossil Fuels, Nigeria's Best Friend

The argument is over. Anyone that doesn’t believe that climate change is happening doesn’t believe in science.
— Leonardo DiCaprio (Actor, Activist, U.N. Messenger of Peace)

Solemnly, global warming, a cause of climate change, is one of the most important issues facing all of humanity today. Many environmentalists and climate scientists are of the opinion that the rise and proliferation of large scale industries in First World countries blew up the issue of global warming. Today, the significant effects of this industrialization on climate systems and patterns have swayed more towards less developed countries: changing weather patterns, rising sea level, more extreme weather events, and disruption of national economies and lives! Nigeria comes into this global problem at this point - a truth that can not be disputed. Hence, there is a dire need for the Republic of Nigeria to take sustainable actions, to move to a low carbon economy amongst other things.

The Nigerian society has been in an age long, paradoxical relationship with fossil fuels: this energy resources the nation while the ecosystem is damaged. Still, they remain best friends. Fossil fuels are non-renewable energy sources occurring in three (3), major forms; coal, oil or petroleum, and natural gas. On the history of energy sources in Nigeria, Olayinka explains:

Imported coal was first used in 1896, but it was not discovered in Nigeria until 1909 and was first produced in 1916. Although oil exploration started in 1901, it was first discovered in commercial quantity in 1956 and produced in 1958. Oil thereafter took over the energy scene from coal until 1969, when hydro energy was first produced.[1]

It would not be right if I completely paint Nigeria in a bad light with regards to environmental sustainability. Interestingly, 16% of the total energy in Nigeria comes from fossil fuel, and another 1% of it is generated from hydropower. The rest comes from waste and biomass.[2]

This is a good indicator, somewhat; it shows that dependency on fossil fuels have reduced - a step in the process of finally breaking free from them. However, the use of alternative and most importantly, renewable energy sources, is still deficient. As Oliver Twist asks for more, I am asking that more be done, that the Nigerian energy sector completely break free from fossil fuels, and prioritize generating solar and hydro energy. This would be a leapfrog to a cleaner, more resilient economy. I do this with the planet and people in mind.

Some individuals suggest that since fossils fuels are easily available and sourced, the nation should continue harnessing energy from them. I do not stand with this opinion. They must be reminded of the exponential increase in population which has increased the consumption of energy: the stock of fossil fuels has become limited, fast approaching its end. Others might raise issues of low cost and simplicity of harnessing energy from these fuels. Considering the serious health hazards and risk of air pollution – in the short and long term - associated with the combustion of fossil fuels, would it be humane and justifiable to put financial objectives before securing human life?'.

The US solar industry now employs three times more workers than coal mining or oil extraction.[3] Wow! Job creation is also a proof renewable energy generation. The Federal budget should support renewable energy instead of subsidizing the oil industry. Nigeria can completely break free from fossil fuels!


1. Ogunsola O.I. (1990, 2007). History of Energy Sources and their Utilization in Nigeria, Energy Sources, 12 (2), p. 181. 

2. "Nigeria: Overview". U.S. Energy Information Administration. Retrieved 8 April 2016

3. Climate Council

Christopher Oghenekevwe Oghenechovwen , a B.Tech student of Meteorology and Climate Science (FUTA), is a decolonized African, environmentalist and ready volunteer. He is 2013 Citizenship and Leadership Certified by CLTC, Nigerian Federal Ministry of Youth Development, a 2015 UNESCO & Athabasca University student on Media and Information Literacy and Intercultural Dialogue, 2015 Senior Category Gold Winner of The Queen's Commonwealth Essay Competition, and youth correspondent at . His growing passions lie within the circle of Climate Action, Media and Information, IT, Youth Education and Leadership. Apart from volunteering with Earthplus, The Green Campus Initiative, and doing creative writing, Oghenekevwe loves to connect with people. Invite him for a healthy conversation via

A Healthy Stand: Junk or Organic Food?


I had to struggle with myself before finally writing on this topic because I consumed - often happily and frequently -  a lot of junks food ranging from sugary liquids to fried and fatty solids. To me, writing this piece was synonymous to the metaphor of a person with a log in his own eye criticizing someone for a speck of sawdust in their own eye. However, the 'self-struggle' ended when I considerably reduced my junk food intake - it is a gradual process, after all!

Many scholarly and scientific definitions of junk or junk food exist, but more simply, it is a disapproving term used for food that has high concentrations of calories, salt, and fat, with inadequate nutrients. Over the years, unfortunately, children have been known to consume junk food at higher rates than adults, usually because of how appealing junk food looks to young undiscerning minds.

Some examples of junk food include salted snack foods, gum, candy, sweet dessert, fried fast food, sugary carbonated beverages, fruit-flavoured liquids, sport drinks, margarine, white flour, and sugary breakfast cereals. Though this food does not pose any immediate health threat when taken alone or with a well-balanced diet, after an extended period of excessive intake, adverse health effects occur such as chronic diseases.

These adverse health effects include obesity, diabetes, depression, nutrient deficiencies, and increased sodium levels in the body. Slowly but ultimately, these choices of food harm the human health and body. Hence considerably cutting down consumption of junk food is beneficial.

On the other side of the divide are organic foods that are grown in line with accepted organic methods of farming. The methods have been known to promote ecological balance, resource cycling, and conserve biodiversity. Organic produce is free from artificial or chemical pesticides and herbicides. Exposure to chemical pesticides has presented some levels of health risks such as the possibility of leukemia, breast, and prostate cancer. In pregnant women and children, the effects range from behavioural disorders, immune system harm, autism to developmental delays.

Organic food is usually fresher because they do not contain preservatives that make them last longer. This means that consumers do no get to eat chemical residues that remain on (and in) the food, as a result of the non-usage of chemical pesticides when growing the food. Organic foods also have very high nutritional values, they make the body stronger, tastes better, and of course, very affordable.

Making a commitment to healthy eating is a great start towards a healthier life.

Christopher Oghenekevwe Oghenechovwen , a B.Tech student of Meteorology and Climate Science (FUTA), is a decolonized African, environmentalist and ready volunteer. He is 2013 Citizenship and Leadership Certified by CLTC, Nigerian Federal Ministry of Youth Development, a 2015 UNESCO & Athabasca University student on Media and Information Literacy and Intercultural Dialogue, 2015 Senior Category Gold Winner of The Queen's Commonwealth Essay Competition, and youth correspondent at . His growing passions lie within the circle of Climate Action, Media and Information, IT, Youth Education and Leadership. Apart from volunteering with Earthplus, The Green Campus Initiative, and doing creative writing, Oghenekevwe loves to connect with people. Invite him for a healthy conversation via

Diverse Opinions: Is Nigeria Really Green?

Before finally putting the threads of this article together, I wondered for a while on how the Nigerian public might respond if they were asked ‘is Nigeria really green’? 

Since, I cannot conduct a poll to answer this question, let us look at some narratives on Nigeria's eco sustainability as it relates to air, land, and water 

First, is the issue of gas flaring. Gas, a major cause of human and environmental health issues in the Niger Delta, has been flared in Nigeria since the 1950's.

When crude oil is extracted from onshore and offshore oil wells, it brings with it raw natural gas (eg CO2) to the surface. In Nigeria, a vast amount of this is burned directly into the atmosphere, resulting in the acidification of waterways and rainfall. This in turn damages vegetation, insect and animal life. Its effects are also associated with cancer, neurological defects, deformities in children, lung damage and skin problems. 

Many oil and gas companies argue that as transportation, pipelines and infrastructure are lacking, flaring gas as a waste product is the cheapest option. I see this argument as both uncivil and inhumane! What possible justification can be given for directly or indirectly causing life-threatening hazards? Financial implications? 

The best the federal government and Minister of Petroleum Resources have been doing since 1984 is to grant written permission to these companies to slowly kill our air, and   penalize with a fine, other companies that destroy our waterways, without giving them prior notice. Financial implications again! Over the years, they have forgotten that alternative options exist, for example, using this so called waste products as materials for the synthesis and production of plastics.

To be considered also are the present plights of the people of  Oloibiri (Bayelsa State) and Ogoni Kingdom (Rivers State) - I do remember them most solemnly. These are areas that have undergone devastating environmental degradation: presence of oil blowouts, spillages, oil slicks, and general pollution. Once rich rivers have become empty; fish, if any remain, die in their waters. Same is the case on the already infertile lands; rabbits  now hide in their burrows. Yet many cry, 'there is black gold, oil enriches'. How sad! Is it the oil that cannot be used by the Ogonis to anoint their foreheads, or the oil that the people of Oloibiri cannot use to fry their stew?

Do not get me wrong at this stage, I am not out for the oil companies, or negatively inclined. I just think that the above narratives have a voice- and this matters.

Of course, Nigeria and her federal government had taken some quite remarkable steps in promoting Climate Action and environmental sustainability, over the last few years. Key examples are the Great Green Wall Project, Nigeria Erosion Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP), Climate Change Department, and the proposed Global Climate Change Commission.

At the end, the answer to the question lies with us. 

Is Nigeria really green?

Christopher Oghenekevwe Oghenechovwen , a B.Tech student of Meteorology and Climate Science (FUTA), is a decolonized African, environmentalist and ready volunteer. He is 2013 Citizenship and Leadership Certified by CLTC, Nigerian Federal Ministry of Youth Development, a 2015 UNESCO & Athabasca University student on Media and Information Literacy and Intercultural Dialogue, 2015 Senior Category Gold Winner of The Queen's Commonwealth Essay Competition, and youth correspondent at . His growing passions lie within the circle of Climate Action, Media and Information, IT, Youth Education and Leadership. Apart from volunteering with Earthplus, The Green Campus Initiative, and doing creative writing, Oghenekevwe loves to connect with people. Invite him for a healthy conversation via

Littering and Improper Waste Disposal: To allow to continue or not?

We have to do what we have to do, so we can do what we want to do
— Unknown

Today, I do not pen down my thoughts alone. These thoughts are joined with those of that little boy, in Ajegunle, with skin infections, that has to tread on tons of decomposing garbage on his way to school and back. My thoughts are shared with those of families in Aba living amongst massive refuse dump sites, who keep on experiencing malaria epidemic.

Truth be told, we all, you and I, should be blamed for the unpleasant situations happening to that boy, girl, or family. Many argue that it is the sole responsibility of the local or state government, to clean up the environment, to set up and enact strict environmental laws, to clear the dirts off the gutters, to burn all the refuse etc. However, as convincing as these ideas seem, I do not stand with them. Should the government,still work on our individual mindsets, hold our hands to put our wraps or papers in bins, teach our children not to litter, remove the empty tin from our porch, or give us ways of how we can positively influence our friends or circles that they become environmental conscious? No. These are all our duties, and if we keep on neglecting them, these unpleasant situations would start happening right in front of our doorsteps: no one or place would be safe. The most interesting thing is that we can do the little things that matter things that will aid the actualization of a healthy environment and leave the complex parts for government. But the first step towards this is recognizing that in us lies the fault. Recognizing our fault gives us a new strength to face our challenges.

At a young age, my mum made my siblings and I do somethings we considered plain annoying. Whenever she noticed our biscuit or sweet wraps had disappeared from our hands, she would ask us about it, and if our answers did not indicate that the wraps were in the bin, she made us look for them, so we could dispose them properly - it did not matter how far down the street the wrap was, you just had to get, and bin it. Unconsciously and slowly as I grew, I began to develop the habit of proper disposal. The government had nothing to do with what I developed.

I would love for us all to consider this question, " What is the point of our education, if we still throw garbage on the street to be ultimately picked up by an uneducated person working? "

Let us not be the first to start littering. We need to know where to throw our garbage so that we can avoid accidents or any event that will affect our health. 

I agree with the words of Amina J. Mohammed, the Honourable Nigerian Minister for Environment, "There would always be dirt, the important belief I have, is that we ensure we are dirt free to the extent it does No Harm". There is no other satisfaction than having a clean environment and breathing fresh air when we practice waste disposal. Therefore, it is just right that we start doing it now and share the good news. Let us join hands against improper waste disposal, we shall not fail! 

Lets Go Green!

Christopher Oghenekevwe Oghenechovwen , a B.Tech student of Meteorology and Climate Science (FUTA), is a decolonized African, environmentalist and ready volunteer. He is 2013 Citizenship and Leadership Certified by CLTC, Nigerian Federal Ministry of Youth Development, a 2015 UNESCO & Athabasca University student on Media and Information Literacy and Intercultural Dialogue, 2015 Senior Category Gold Winner of The Queen's Commonwealth Essay Competition, and youth correspondent at . His growing passions lie within the circle of Climate Action, Media and Information, IT, Youth Education and Leadership. Apart from volunteering with Earthplus, The Green Campus Initiative, and doing creative writing, Oghenekevwe loves to connect with people. Invite him for a healthy conversation via

Held by the Spell of Owena Lake, Ondo State

A young girl carrying a tray of fresh oranges on her head walked through the village market. A woman haggled noisily with the vegetable seller, while a young man picked some oranges from the pile that sat before a fruit seller. The small market was ubiquitously embroidered in a beautiful mosaic of colours: fresh red tomatoes and pepper piled up at different corners; bunches of unripe plantain stacked on a broad wooden plank, and heaps of ripened pawpaw and dirty-brown tubers of yam on sun-tanned sand.

It was the market day at Owena village- a settlement straddling Akure-Ilesa and Akure-Ondo expressways. Although the two busy roads are miles apart, this settlement nevertheless, had always made the same impression on every traveler-by on the roads. One could ply this road for decades and never come to the awareness of the presence of the Old Owena Dam, tucked in a forest on the outskirts of the village. A short dusty by-way through the market leads to the dam. The dam was erected about two decades ago and has been fitted with a chute-type spillway, large water pipes and a big pump. It appears to have been designed exclusively for domestic supply purposes.

On approaching the dam premises, I quickly noticed a rapid attenuation of the cacophony from the roadside market. I walked into an old gate that leads into the dam. A structure housing a big machine sat on the left and a rigid iron bridge laid ahead of me, leading to a narrow field of bright-green elephant grasses arrogantly swaying with the gentle breeze as the field stretches into the far distance. The short iron bridge rested the dam's spill way. The beautiful Owena Lake sprawls behind the spillway like a long narrow sea of spilled oil. Verdant aquatic plants formed broad carpets on the waters. The skyline at the far end of the lake meets the earth above the undulating canopies of lush green forests, casting an unusual but awe-inspiring shadow on the tranquil waters.

A local fisherman slowly rowed his canoe at a distance while the lake glistened with a mild solar fire, capturing both the fisherman and his boat in a vague silhouette. Standing on the bridge and leaning on its railings to savor the rhapsodic aura of picturesque surrounding, I noticed schools of catfishes and Tilapias twirling happily with a sense of freedom that seemed to know no bounds. The cool breeze at the lake was satiating, engulfing me with a sensational ambiance of peace. On the other side of the bridge, where elephant grasses banked the lakeside, a man was busy cutting down an errant shrub near the water. I asked the man if tourists visit the dam, and he laughed. He said they rarely have visitors. I also asked him questions about the fishes in the lake, and he said ”there are plenty of catfishes and tilapias in this lake o! Infact, if you come when the fishermen are just returning from their daily runs on the lake, you will see plenty of our fishes”.

A visit to the lake might definitely leave one thinking why everyone in Nigeria have become so caught up in the vagaries of everyday city life that we don’t create time for adventure recreation. When admiring the lush forests on the far banks of the lake, one cannot but imagine those foreign lakeside resorts with water skis, canoes, fishing boats and wildlife water parks. This is nonetheless another bundle of economic potential, an incredible and viable investment opportunity for a keen business mind.

The noise from the village market returned as I departed the dam and approached the market, ushering me back into the world of men, away from the exhilarating and refreshing world of peace and tranquility I tasted at the shores of Owena Lake.

An Open Letter to Earth's Young People

Dear Youth,

How has the voyage on life's great sea been? I hope you have continuously learnt the lessons and kept your ship sailing after the early storms hit. More waters remain to be covered - more trends to be set. Therefore, hold on to your vigour and captain on. I am like you. I am young. I have vigour.

For a while now, sustainable development has been in the consciousness of leaders in almost all positive spheres of life, often it is on their lips, in their deeds it is also seen. This recent global action stirred me into reflection for a period. I reflected harder than I did when complex calculus problems stared up at me impatiently. Reflections on what little things you and I could do together for earth and her people with the fire in our bones, youthful values, knowledge, skills and vigour. I came up with simple Promethean ideas. These I will share with you.

Friend, I hit on the first idea on one of those days when I wasn't at a loss, when I didn't notice the unfair and imbalanced ratio between the vowels and consonants in words like 'hymn' and 'church'. Just like a perfectly designed spider web, we can connect, we can network. Yes, networking was the idea. By creating networks in our neighborhood, classes, markets etc we would exchange ideas, share and discuss or debate about the most up-to-date knowledge and technologies relating to people in our society and earth with the brightest of minds. The first network I belonged to, used WhatsApp as a platform for discussions. As simple as it was, we achieved by doing the little things that matter.
Also, you and I can support recycling. We may not have the resources for building a recycling factory but we can play parts in local ways. We can set up a small collection point in our lanes and drives for these factories with our plastic or paper labelled drums and baskets. We can gather recyclable materials with our friends. Moreover, using our Facebook and Twitter accounts we can create campaigns to promote recycling. By doing these, we fight land and air pollution, protect the environment, reduce energy consumption, amount of waste to land fills and global warming, conserve natural resources and ensure sustainable use of resources. I believe in you. You can do this. Small acts, great advantages.

It is an inarguable truth that water is life in another form. Recently, evaporation rates of water bodies have become more rapid due to global warming. Hence, water conservation is necessary as plants and humans cannot survive without it. We can preserve the planet by conserving water in the little ways possible; by not running the tap while brushing and by reducing our shower time. This is the third action plan, simple and practicable. Sounds doable? I trust your vigour.

Another thing we can do for the people and planet is to grow a tree (not plant a tree) and start thinking green. I didn't see a difference between planting and growing till I read a quote of a female Kenyan environmental activist. Wangari Maathai said, "Anybody can dig a hole and plant a tree. But make sure it survives. You have to nurture it, you have to water it, you have to keep at it until it becomes rooted so it can take care or itself. There are so many enemies of trees". You see the difference too? When we grow a 'lung of the planet', the air is purified and our people are given fresh strength. 


Thinking green is being mindful of and sensitive to the natural environment in which we find ourselves daily! Everyday is Earth Day.

Lastly, we can share with and teach other people the importance of preserving the planet. We would take what we know and pass it to others. If every person we know could take one small step toward being greener, the collective effort could be phenomenal.

I believe in you. I believe in your vigour.

Yours Sincerely,

Your friend

Christopher Oghenekevwe Oghenechovwen , a B.Tech student of Meteorology and Climate Science (FUTA), is a decolonized African, environmentalist and ready volunteer. He is 2013 Citizenship and Leadership Certified by CLTC, Nigerian Federal Ministry of Youth Development, a 2015 UNESCO & Athabasca University student on Media and Information Literacy and Intercultural Dialogue, 2015 Senior Category Gold Winner of The Queen's Commonwealth Essay Competition, and youth correspondent at . His growing passions lie within the circle of Climate Action, Media and Information, IT, Youth Education and Leadership. Apart from volunteering with Earthplus, The Green Campus Initiative, and doing creative writing, Oghenekevwe loves to connect with people. Invite him for a healthy conversation via Launches at the Green Centre

Green Ambassador, Aiyesoro Samuel launched and at the Green Centre on Dec 1st 2015. offers a paperless, hassle-free online shopping destination in Ondo state and its environ. It is an innovative idea to complement the paperless policy of the New Nigeria, and reaffirm our commitment to environmental sustainability in campus communities.


The site is easy to use and with flexible payment options like cash on delivery. There is a large selection of electronics, mobile phones, computers, fashion, beauty products,books and a whole lot more. The system is effective and customers get their goods in less than 24 hours of placing order. Delivery is absolutely free within Adeyemi Community. is under the social entrepreneurship division of the Green Institute. We encourage social entrepreneurship as a way of promoting sustainable development. The Green Center offers a place for budding entrepreneurs to gather and innovate for social change. It is worthy to note that, the umbrella company is the first online mall in Ondo state.

Check out pictures from the launch below: 

Green Urban Cities (Government’s Role in the Sustainability Movement)


The onus is on the government, and not private firms, to be the leaders in greening and the environmental sustainability movement at large. Think about it (from an economic standpoint). There really isn’t any incentive for private firms to reduce pollution and be more environmentally conscious (except if it’s in their best interest). Firms are rational actors and would do whatever it takes to maximize profit and reduce costs. In the greening movement, and thinking from a thoroughly macro-perspective, government is the best model to inspire the masses. Green Urban Cities, for example, thrive in Europe, especially in Scandinavian countries where government is bigger. I’m not one to argue for the expansion of government, but if the right checks and regulations are put in place for justifiable environmental policies, this could be a worthwhile rationale.

The government can do more in spearheading green and environmentally friendly investments by employing the same economic means by which they attract rich multinational companies. They could, for example, provide tax reliefs for environmentally conscious companies willing to enter the market. As of now, there are two widely regarded government interventions in the green movement:

Environmental Tax (Carbon Tax): Governments can tax the pollution of corporations by setting a price on carbon emissions of companies in the region. The economical goal is to make the use of harmful fuels and energy more expensive.

Emissions Trading: Several governments have also introduced incentives to control pollution in the form of the cap and trade system. This is more of a market based approach and it has been largely successful in Europe under the guise of the EU Emission Trading Scheme.

These two interventions are more viable in established markets and would have a hard time being constructive in less developed markets. Keeping true to our micro-level approach of greening, I believe there are small actionable ways the government can engage people in the sustainability movement.

Confronting the consumer: With the help of non-governmental organizations, the government could utilize public awareness campaigns to engage and educate the masses on the best sustainability practices. Gradually, teams of households could be set up in neighborhoods who modify consumption patterns and take account of the waste and disposal patterns.

Employee mobility: Returning to theme of the government of being the best model for sustainability, there could be policies put in place that charge governmental employees to employ environmental friendly modes of transportation. Carpooling should be encouraged and if vehicles are bought for the government office, they should be more energy efficient and low polluting. The Leicester Bicycle program, for example, has been quite successful and there is a lot to be learnt from that city-wide endeavor.

Management of government buildings: Governmental building have to be used more creatively to reduce long term environmental impacts. Recycling bins should be located throughout the building and office appliances ought to be used more efficiently to lessen energy consumption.

Ecological Twinning: The environmentalism movement is a global one. We can’t afford to be myopic when dealing with such a global crisis. Ecological twinning involves partnering with other cities, possibly in other countries, by exporting sustainability practices. Other programs that encourage intra-country partnering on environmental sustainability should also be encouraged.

I want to emphasize that most of these actions should be taken at the local government level. Smaller scale investments are much likely to yield faster results. Once established, the federal government can then adopt a more macro level approach like the environmental tax and emissions trading discussed above. We’d love to hear from you; should government play a leading role in the sustainability movement or should it be left to the free market? What do you think?


Olaoluwa holds a Masters in Public and International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh and a Bachelors from Lincoln University. His core interests include poverty alleviation and youth empowerment. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, writing and watching sports. In the future, he hopes to obtain a doctorate degree where he aims to study exclusionary policies that limit youth participation in politics.

Green 101: The Three R's

We are at a critical juncture in shaping the future of this planet in terms of how we interact with its limited resources. Future generations will look back and either laud us for what we did, or chastise us for what we failed to do. Climate change is real. More importantly, we are increasingly more responsible for it. It’s not all gloom and doom though. There are things that we can still do to curb the debilitating effects of climate change. I fully recognize that we are limited in initiating a macro-level change in how we interact with our environment (that would have to come from the top of the pyramid), but there are little things that we can do to impact our local environments and hopefully inspire others in the community to do the same.

The Three R’s are often evoked in environmentalism. By doing our minimal best to follow these three principles, we can in some capacity impact our environment for the betterment of future generations.


You’ve probably heard the phrase “man is an insatiable animal” in your economics class. It’s true and often, that insatiable nature leads to waste. Most people have no clue how much food and other resources they waste every day (really, check your local landfills to fully grasp this!). The problem then is that when these resources break down, they turn into harmful gases which then contribute to climate change. By buying less food and having a strict regimen for your menu, you can make a big difference to the environment. Be resourceful. Don’t immediately throw food products away simple based on the expiration label. Most of those dates are guesstimates and most products are still viable long after that. Also, donate foods you plan not to eat, freeze your vegetables and fruits, and when you do go the supermarket, try walking or riding a bicycle if you can.


Reusing resources makes economic sense. It also has a lot of environmental benefits. Instead of throwing away your old materials, simply pass it on. Remember “one man’s trash can be another man’s treasure”. Do your best to reuse disposable cups and dishes after parties as opposed to throwing them away. Donate your clothes to charity or hand them down to your younger siblings and relatives (granted, they are sure to hate this idea). Again, be resourceful. Try finding new ways to use old products. And lastly, engage the community. You could try to collectively host a communal yard sale. Not only would this create a market for used products, you have the added benefit of bringing the community together for a justifiable cause.


Recycle, recycle, and recycle. Don’t throw everything you use in the trash. Most products can usually be remade into the same thing or a similar product. In fact, most companies would even appreciate this as it reduces the cost of production. Do your best to buy products made from recycled materials. That sends a message to manufacturers that there is a market for such goods. Try to engage the community in a recycling drive to stress the importance of recycling. Label trash cans and recycling bins to make people more aware. You’ll be surprised how big these little efforts make. Materials that can be recycled include aluminum cans, cardboard papers, electronic equipment, glass, magazines, metal, newspapers, etc. Try to find resources with a comprehensive list of recyclable materials; you’ll be surprised at how much materials are needlessly wasted.

Notice how all these three distinct principle share a common theme. They all include efforts by YOU. Choosing to be a more responsible and environmentally conscious citizen solely relies on you acting- on you changing your habits. Curbing climate change is a communal effort. Try to involve your friends and relatives. Build a community out of it and be a force for change in your community. In the meantime, please follow the Green Institute on Facebook and check back regularly to keep up to date on the ever evolving world of Greening