recycling

Minister of Education Educate Green Kids on Environmental Sustainability

Children are the future leaders, train up a child in the right way, and he/she will not depart from it. Ambassadors and Ministers of the Green Campus Initiative (GCI) are making sure the foundation in sustaining the environment is made solid for the next generation. The Honourable Minister of Education and Advocacy Odunayo Ayodeji Aliu addressed the Homaj School Green Kids Club on Environmental Sustainability. She also presented waste bins to the cleanest classrooms in the school. The kids are taught on how to; recycle waste, make the environment clean and also plant trees in their school compounds. The GKC has extended its tentacles to various schools in Ondo city.

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The club aims at creating awareness and teaching the younger generation ways of preserving and conserving our natural resources. In GKC, elections are conducted by members to elect the Prime Minister and Green Police to ensure the proper activities of the members and check improper waste disposal and management amongst students and pupils of the school. Green Kids Club, making the world a better place to live in.

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!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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 yourcommonwealth.org . 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 chrischovwen@gmail.com

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. 

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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


ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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 yourcommonwealth.org . 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 chrischovwen@gmail.com