When you think of plastic, what springs to mind?
A plastic water bottle?
Since its inception in 1907, plastic has become an international phenomenon with increasing global ramifications.
This year, Earth Day is a call to action to end plastic pollution. Our consumption of plastics is poisoning our oceans and land – injuring marine life and affecting the health of our communities.
In West Africa, our Nigeria WAY team is working to “be the change” in our community when it comes to environmental sustainability. In recent years, Nigeria has been experiencing heavier rains then normal, with many lives being impacted by floods, rising sea levels, mud slides, desertification, erosion, pollution and deforestation.
In Bauchi, we have noticed the impact and ongoing harm of climate change in our community and we wanted to do something about it. In response, we launched our Green Team initiative at our Nigeria WAY office! Together, our team is researching sustainable ways to protect our local environment and support environmentally sustainable initiatives.
Lawal Gada, Environment & Technology Coordinator for our Nigeria WAY project led the launch of this initiative. He explained the importance of being environmentally sustainable and how to adhere to the green management system set out by MEDA head office.
Gada shared current research about how carbon dioxide concentrations are negatively impacting our atmosphere. The increase of greenhouse gases in Nigeria are due to the use of power generators, deforestation, toxins from industry and the common use of coal and firewood as fuel.
MEDA is playing a crucial role in pushing forward a green and hospitable environment. I am proud to be part of an organization that has environmental sustainability and climate resilience strategy at its focus.
On Earth Day, Nigeria WAY will dig a compost site for all decomposable waste that will be used as fertilizer for lettuce, broccoli, spinach, carrots, tomatoes and cucumbers that will be planted in the upcoming months.
This exercise is only possible because our staff in Nigeria have been meticulous and diligent when it comes to segregating their waste appropriately, which is not a common practice in Nigeria.
We are also working to contact recycling companies in Bauchi State to partner with us and help us reuse our plastic. Gada encouraged the whole team to raise awareness of the importance of recycling in their communities and change their habits.
Grace Fosen, Deputy Field Project Manager identified ways that the green team could attract funding for green financing for other energy-saving technologies.
Green team members pledged to bring their used plastic bottles to MEDA to be recycled and consider partnering with recycling firms. Monies raised will be used to support green activities and obtain tools.