Saturday 14 October 2023

Strategies to Reduce Waste and Increase Renewable Energy Adoption

By Ruth Ajawu

During our Forum Friday with Tonny Silas Dauda (a Development Practitioner and Youth Activist) and Chizoba Nzeakor (an Award winning Climate champion, Innovator, Researcher, Advocate and Entrepreneur) on September 29, 2023, we delved into the depths of waste management and renewable energy, and discovered how we can make a difference.

Advocacy and Education: The Path to Recycling Success

One good environmental waste practice that has been gaining ground is advocacy. People are finally starting to distinguish between solid waste, hazardous waste, plastic waste, electronic waste, paper waste, and more. This newfound awareness is driving education on waste management and the art of turning trash into treasure through recycling.

However, despite these positive developments, there is a lingering issue – the policies designed to manage waste are not always implemented effectively. Corruption often rears its ugly head in this regard, hindering our progress.

Another significant hurdle is behavioural change. Many Nigerians are still accustomed to tossing sachets and other materials onto the ground without a second thought. The consciousness of proper disposal is missing for a substantial portion of the population.

The Consequences of Neglecting Waste

The consequences of inadequate waste management practices are manifold. Health-wise, improper waste disposal creates a breeding ground for diseases, posing a significant risk to public health. Accidents can also happen when certain waste materials aren't disposed of correctly.

On the environmental front, waste packed in landfills sealed off from oxygen can undergo anaerobic decomposition, producing methane – a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change even more than carbon emissions. 

Poor waste management reverberates across various sectors, affecting the economy and the environment alike.

Renewable Energy: A Sustainable Path Forward

Renewable energy is the buzzword when it comes to a greener future. But what exactly is it? To put it simply, renewable energy is clean energy derived from sources that can be naturally replenished. This is distinct from clean energy, which is created without emitting greenhouse gases.

In Nigeria, we have untapped sources of renewable energy just waiting to be harnessed.

  • Solar energy is a shining star in our energy portfolio, thanks to our abundant sunlight year-round.

  • Our extensive shoreline makes tidal and wind energy promising options for sustainable power generation.

  • Do not forget geothermal energy, which can be tapped from the earth's heat beneath our feet, with hot water springs as potential sources.

Learning from Others: Adopting Successful Waste Reduction Programs

We don't have to reinvent the wheel. Other countries have successfully implemented waste reduction programs that we can adapt for Nigeria. What do they have in common? Support systems, sponsorship and funding opportunities by the government, and most importantly, political will.

Be the Change: How Individuals Can Make a Difference

Individuals play a vital role in shaping waste reduction and renewable energy policies. Advocacy, both online and offline, is a powerful tool. Educate yourself on the subject matter, understand the current policy landscape, and join discussions.

Collaboration for a Greener Tomorrow

It is not just individuals: governments, the private sector, educational institutions, and local communities must collaborate for effective waste management and renewable energy adoption. This can be achieved by imposing fines on plastic use, rewarding recycling, and investing in renewable energy ventures like solar farms.

Practical Steps to Minimise Your Waste Footprint

  • On a personal level, you can take steps to minimise your waste footprint. 

  • Recycle your waste, avoid disposables, and manage your energy and water usage wisely.

Sustaining Interest Through Social Media and Community Engagement

To sustain interest in waste reduction and renewable energy adoption, we must create engaging content and foster online spaces for discussions. Keep the conversation alive, and the momentum will follow.

In conclusion, waste is not just waste: it can create value and usher in a greener future for Nigeria. We all need to play our part by reducing, reusing, and recycling. 


At Shades of Us, we believe that time is valuable, and the need for action is urgent. We can all play a role in combating climate change in Nigeria. Educate yourself and others about the benefits of waste reduction and renewable energy adoption. Support local initiatives, organisations, and businesses that are working towards sustainable solutions. Engage with policymakers to prioritise clean energy policies and waste management regulations.

No comments:

Post a Comment