Sustainability in Nigeria For Dummies
So the United Nations put up a post called The Lazy Man’s Guide to Saving the World; me having nothing to do on Valentine’s day (#ForeverAloneGang), I read the post as decided to “Nigerian-ize” (see what I did there I made up a word!) the post.
The term Sustainability broken down is Sustain and Ability thus the ability to sustain. (yeah it really is that simple). So with all the “Wahala” going on in the country now, one has to learn how to stretch their resources and make them last longer than intended thus saving money and in some cases energy in the process. By the way, if you are not Nigerian you can carry out these practices to just modify them to your lifestyle.
Let us get to this list:
• For those of you on the NEPA (sorry PHCN meter), try unplugging all your appliances that you don’t use to reduce your bill. Also use energy efficient bulbs trust me they are brighter and take less power.
• Ladies, when you wash your hair try air drying it, wash on a less busy day and air dry your hair it saves energy and also if you go to the saloon you pay less (save your money and wash at home.)
Personally, I have natural hair and honestly buying products to use on my hair cost money. This lead me to looking up DIY (do it yourself) methods of how to make some of the products I needed for cheap. This is my small way of reducing my buying of plastics.(and of course saving money) This goes for creams, soaps and lotions, let’s reduce our plastic.
• Take shorter showers (5 minutes is enough) and be aware the amount of water you use when doing house chores. This not only reduces your water bill but you’re helping the plant by conserving water. By the way, when you wash your tomatoes and peppers throw the water out to the lawn not down the drain. If you are lucky the seed may bring fruits (I know tomatoes grow anywhere, really anywhere).
• Instead of always buying pure water try buying a water bottle (and no I don’t mean the bottle you used in primary school, there are really nice ones people carry these days) and refilling as the day goes by.
• Try carpool or use public transport; when I used to work in Lagos mainland I would park my car and take the BRT, that saved me around N3,000 a month. Who doesn’t like extra money? This helps reduce your carbon footprint as a human being on earth.
• Instead of buying processed foods, why not try buying fresh vegetables? Shop local… supporting neighbourhood businesses (like Mama Shakiru down the street) keeps people employed and helps prevent trucks from driving far distances. Look up how you can preserve them with little or no electricity.
• Reduce, Reuse and Recycle (no explanation needed here) and ofcourse, Stare Down On Pollution!
• Try bringing your own bags when you go shopping. Trust me you don’t need all those plastic nylon bags they give you, invest in two go shopping bags or baskets that you take when you are shopping.
• Reuse your textbooks or donate. All those old Ugo. C Ugo books that you are not using anymore donate them to a school or give them to someone who needs them on your street.
• I know Nigeria is hot but please don’t run your AC all day long, try opening your window from time to time. Get some fresh air in your lungs.
• Try using natural cleaners. I know I’m guilty of this, I use bleach on everything when I’m cleaning my house. You can cut down on the harsh chemicals and start using natural concoctions like lemon water, white vinegar and baking soda. There are many natural cleaning agents out there and if you are not sold on them completely you can go half and half.
• This is a weird one but stay with me, try catching your rain water. Seriously but a drum outside when it rains and use the water for miscellaneous work around the house.
• If you have space in your compound, try growing a vegetable garden. You can grow anything from corn to onions in your backyard. Plus, talk to your neighbours about it, you may be surprised that they also want to grow their food.
These are just a few things you can do to better your life and other around you. There are much more tips and tricks that are out there you just need to find the one that works for you and use it. (You can also share some with us in the comment box below).
I will leave you with some friendly Susty quotes! 🙂
Sustainability, ensuring the future of life on Earth, is an infinite game, the endless expression of generosity on behalf of all.
Sustainability is the key to our survival on this planet and will also determine success on all levels.