You Might Want to Try Having a Green Easter Holiday this Year


Hello friends!

Sure, I agree that the idea of a green Easter holiday is somewhat new, but not to worry, the Green Team and I would be jumping in with you. Honestly, I can't wait to start my holiday, and guess what! For the first time, I would be catching some breath and fun whilst enjoying the freshness of nature with family and friends.

Aside being environmentally-friendly and healthy at the same time, having a green Easter holiday can also save you good sums of money and develop your creativity. Don’t get me wrong here! Having a green holiday doesn’t mean you have to cut back on the fun or other good times. Not at all, you can still enjoy the events and activities of your holiday. It only gets better.

Here are some ways to make your holiday greener, enjoy:

First, get everybody, family and friends, to know that you plan to be eco-friendly during the holiday and ask for their support. There are high chances that you could just influence a large number of them, if not all, to be part of your plans. Who doesn’t want to be healthy and strong, I mean? Instead of sending out your plans, and hangout, reunion, or other event invitations to them with cards or paper letters, you could rather send an email, a text, or give them a call. Online ways of informing family and friends are really acceptable. Go ahead, tell them your plans and be digital!

If you’ve been thinking of taking a trip to a smoky factory, or hosting a hangout in that noisy centre, it’s time to let that though go. You should consider a venue or location that would be relaxing - a perfect one. Take a trip instead to that Conservation Park or reserve, walk through their quiet paths, feel the trees, hear the chirping and melody of birds, and be close to nature. Have that reunion or hangout outdoors, see the therapeutic skies above your head, watch the sun set, be in that little gush of moist wind, and again be close to nature. You would save electrical energy by doing these because you don’t get to power on the light bulbs. Also, the happiness, adventure and new experience you get by doing these would be satisfying and fulfilling.

Providing bins that are well labeled are also something you should do at your events. Recycle bins, compost bins, and garbage bins for throwaways. Guests would dispose properly on seeing these bins.

Finally, you might want to try some new type of food. Fast foods and excess sweets are not the best; little nutrients are gotten from them. You could try organic food this holiday; its richness is what our bodies need for better health. Clean water, fresh fruits, organic food and organic wine all makes for sustainable dining.

Having a green holiday is not only a fun way to enlighten family and friends, but it is also a great way of attracting others.

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

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.

NATURE SERIES: Exploring the Oil Producing Region of Ondo State, Nigeria

We stepped a little bit out of our comfort zone to have a feeling of what the sea life looks like. Our notepad got exhausted at the avalanche of discoveries and findings we got from the Ilaje Local Government Area in Ondo. Ilaje has an area of 1,318 km2 and a population of about 290,615 at the census of 2006. We cannot but wonder at the adaptive nature of these people to their aquatic environment. Young children within the age range of 7 to 10 paddle their own canoes to school, the water that serves as road is the same water for bathing, laundry, swimming and fishing. Despite the harsh environmental conditions, smiles were not scarce from their faces. Their occupational activities include fishing, canoe making, lumbering, net making, mat making, farming and trading.  Ilaje is enriched with natural economic potential such as petroleum and bitumen and a unique centre for tourism but in the midst of all the abundance in the land, the people of the land are being paid less attention. In an interview we had with the Chairman of Fishermen Association of Ayetoro, he said oil exploration is killing the fishes in the sea which has hampered the profitability of the fishing business, he further explains that flood is destroying their houses and schools which has left many homeless and clueless . In his own words, he said “in the next 12 months, if the government fails to come to our rescue, where we are standing now will be taken over by waters from the sea”. At this point we sighed at the impending danger that awaits this full potentiated area if we fold our arms and we also rejoiced at the possibility of greatness we can achieve if we can come together as individuals, corporate bodies, and government parastatals to answer the call of this people. Greatness is achievable if we have great minds. See pictures below: 

NATURE SERIES: Green Team visits the Magical Idanre Hills

The true definition of nature cannot be read but felt. The green team visited one of the worlds heritage site named by UNESCO; Idanre hill. The magical Idanre hill is located in Idanre town of Southwestern Nigeria, Ondo state. Time was not enough to explore the depth of beauty embodied in this beautiful hill and assemblage of natural architecture. From the natural landscapes to the cultural sites such as Owa’s Palace, Old Court, Thunder water (Omi Apaara) and so many others. After the 660 giant energy sapping steps we took to get to the of top the hill, words went into hiding to express  the massive light of beauty that beamed into our faces, we were in practical awe at the audacious beauty of nature. Trust us, cameras started clicking as we take different selfie poses with nature. A big thanks to our tour guard who reminded us of the time because we already lost consciousness of our wrist watches. Nature speaks, only a green ear can hear. Visit a beautiful place someday and you will love the experience.