Archive | September, 2011

These Banks and their annoying plenty papers

30 Sep

I have often been appalled at the amount of paper I use when I go to the bank. I get to  fill this form, and that form……. ”phew” . The one that really gets me wondering ”what do they do need all these papers for”, is that deposit slip. 3 pieces of papers, usually White, Pink ,Yellow,  Blue (depending on the bank). You get to the deposit counter, fill them out, make the deposit, drop a pink copy, the teller officer takes the white and you get to keep the blue. Next you fill the big deposit register.

Can a bank staff please explain what these papers are used for and justify why they are absolutely necessary. For me, I just hate that I would litter my hand bag with papers,  hate that I would trash them after a few days when I am sure my transaction has been concluded, most of all, I hate that more trees are chopped down for those papers and these banks are not passionately ensuring they are replaced.

The bulk counting room is even more irritating. The cashiers easily and without an eco-care whatsoever rip apart the money wrappers from other banks. Isn’t there a way they can save them and each bank goes round to pick from the different banks and re-use their wrappers? They go round to pick ATM cards stuck in the machines of other banks. They could use the same time, resource and energy to pick their wrappers.

Lately I have secretly been checking out how much banks try to reduce their use of paper. Oceanic Bank removed one slip from their deposit slip. I was proud of them till I concluded  my deposit, and discovered that 2 more  papers got printed out, one for me, the other for the Bank. That meant I had 2 slips to take home. ”WHATTTTTTT”.

I went to another bank, UBA, and it was the same story. I was forced to ask the staff, ”Please are you reducing the papers or increasing them?”. I got the most ”ECO-FRIENDLY” reply. ”Yes, we are trying to reduce our use of papers, especially the deposit slips. We plan to gradually, phase out the old slip”. Are you kidding me? Who reduces by using more?  Is that the definition of minimalism? Never heard that philosophy in my life. It’s only our government that tells us they are reducing spending by increasing salaries of lawmakers. I made several deposits and therefore took a ton of paper home.

I think it’s time the banks made their business more eco-friendly. Make banking more electronic. That way we would reduce waste. If you appreciate your customers, you would ensure you sustain their living environment.

How much paper does your bank use? Report them!!!!!!!!!!!!!


26 Sep

Connect4Climate (C4C) is a campaign, a competition, and a community that cares about climate change. The goal of C4C is to raise awareness about climate change issues around the world, with an initial focus on Africa. With the help of our broad coalition of partners, both big and small, we are kickstarting an interactive dialogue on climate change issues amongst African youth and global social media users. With roughly 70% of Africa’s total population under 30, the Connect4Climate campaign will tap the rich potential of African’s youth as powerful agents of social change.

The Competition

To launch the campaign, Connect4Climate is running a photo and video competition on climate change focused on African youth. If you are between the ages of 13 to 30, please send us your photos or videos (60 seconds or less) that tell a climate change story or present a cool idea for solutions related to one of these six categories:

  • Agriculture
  • Energy
  • Forests
  • Gender
  • Health
  • Water

November 15, 2011


Young people from around the world with a focus on African youth- ages 13-17, 18-24, and 25-30


Over 60 prizes will be awarded, including cameras, mobile phones, computer tablets and solar backpacks. Winning entries will be exhibited at the UN Conference on Climate Change (COP17) in Durban, South Africa, this December. World leaders and prominent climate change thinkers will get a chance to look, listen, and learn about these climate stories generated by African youth from around the continent.

The Community

with an ever-growing list of knowledge partners, Connect4Climate aims to act as a convener of all parties with an interest in raising awareness about climate change issues and participating in an interactive, global dialogue on climate change. Our partners include international organizations, social media networks, UN agencies, NGOs, academia, civil society, private sector, public sector, and youth organizations.

Join us!

Green Buses, Dark Fumes

25 Sep

Doesn’t mean they are green.

Abuja Smokey Bus

How will these plants survive with all that fume?

Green Abuja Metropolis

We need better modes of transportation to reduce the emission of Green house gases (bad gases that hurt our atmosphere).

It’s time to say good bye to Green Buses with Dirty Dark Fumes.

Photos by Chestnut Photography.

Shopping Bags from Favourite T-shirts

23 Sep

Don’t know what to do with that old favorite  t-shirt in your wardrobe? Here is a simple way to make it more useful (since you do not want to give it away yet). It is beautiful, colorful(depending on what you have) and relatively easy to make. Would help you reduce waste and the use of plastic bags.

Take an old T-shirt and turn it inside out. Draw a bag shape you like. (You can make it as small or large as you want.)


Cut through both layers so you have two identical pieces. You can leave the shirt’s hem intact or snip it off.


Stitch the two pieces together all the way around, leaving the bag’s opening untouched.


To prevent fraying, either serge or apply a narrow zigzag stitch to the edge.


Use a ruler and ballpoint pen to draw dashes across the fabric. Important: Leave room four inches from the top for your handle


Using scissors or a rotary cutter, snip along the lines, making sure to stagger your cuts. Cut a longer slit two inches from the top—this will be your handle—and shape the sides if you wish.


Then streeeeeetch the bag.


That’s it! If you wash and dry your bag, the slits curl up a bit and it looks even better. You can use them for shopping for produce at Wuse market, Mushin or Ariaria market.

DIY projects, DIY tutorials, reusable bags, eco-friendly bags, upcycled fashion, recycled fashion, upcycled clothing, recycled clothing, upcycled T-shirts, recycled T-shirts, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable style

Culled from Ecouterre, created by Delia Randall of Delia Creates 

Seven Ways to Adapt to Climate Change or Cost of Adaptation

13 Sep


Fighting the Desert

 Fighting Desertification

For some regions, global warming means less rainfall. Battling desertification will be crucial in the Africa Sahel or parts of China.

The photo shows farmers planting grass to stabilize sand dunes on the edge of the Mu Us Desert in Lingwu, northwest China. (Source: Reuters)

Saving Water on the Farm

Saving Water on the Farm

Adapting to a hotter climate will be especially tough for the agricultural sector. Making better use of water for irrigation is an important step.

The image shows a worker tending to a newly planted crop on an organic farm in Rancho Santa Fe, California. Organic farmers use plastic tenting covers to keep insects away from young plants and limit evaporation, while they water with more efficient drip irrigation. (Source: Reuters)

Securing Water Supplies

3. Securing Water Supplies

Steadily rising water consumption and temperature increases also threaten freshwater supplies. Saltwater desalination provides an alternative for coastal regions.

The picture shows a water desalination plant built offshore Argentina’s Patagonian village of Puerto Piramides. The plant produces about 175,000 liters of desalinated water suitable for urban use and irrigation every day. (Source: Reuters)

Sudan Abandoned Village

4. The Last Choice: Migration

If adaptation fails, migration is often the last choice for those threatened by the impacts of climate change. If resources are stressed, local conflicts often erupt adding another danger to the situation.
br>This aerial view shows an abandoned village in the desert of North Darfur, Sudan in November 2004. People where driven out after attacks by Arab militias. Experts say that a changing climate and scarce resources has been one of the underlying causes of the crisis. (Source: Reuters)

Stopping the Sea

5. Stopping the Sea

The Netherlands is among the countries most at risk to rising sea levels. After thousands lost their lives in a devastating flood in 1953, the country started fortifying seawalls, expanding canals, and constructing dikes, dams, and lock in a large-scale project called the “Delta Works.” The satellite image shows the Dutch region of Zeeland. Dikes are clearly visible. (Source: NASA/GSFC/METI/ERSDAC/JAROS, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team)

The Delta Works

6. The Delta Works

The American Society of Civil Engineers has named the Dutch “Delta Works” one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World.

The image shows one of the first storm surge barrier erected in Zeeland shortly after the storm disaster in 1953. The works were finished after almost fifty years in 1997. With over 10,250 miles (16,500 km) of dikes and 300 structures, the project is one of the most extensive engineering projects in the world. (Source: Shutterstock)

Protecting the Land

7. Protecting the Land

While the “Delta Works” have helped prevent further flood catastrophes in the Netherlands, they wouldn’t be able to resist further rising sea levels. Dams and dikes will have to be made higher and wider.

The Dutch parliament even commissioned a study on whether an artificial island in the shape of a tulip could help protect the most vulnerable parts of the Dutch coastline. The picture shows an artist’s rendition of the project. (Source: Reuters)

Good ideas but how many of these can developing countries, most vulnerable to climate change afford?  How much would cutting down emission at source cost developed nations? Share your thoughts.

Nigeria Fashion Week 2011 going Green

12 Sep

Nigeria Fashion Week 2011 going Green

As part of a contribution to a healthy and sustainable environment, the Nigeria Fashion Week 2011 is going green. This is an effort by Legendary Gold Limited in joining the rest of the world to call for climate change, especially in Africa.

The highlight of the Nigeria Fashion Week 2011 is the going green collection. This segment was especially created to draw awareness to climate change. Designers participating in this slot will be using recycled materials to create their collection as against normal fabrics and accessories.

The 19th of November, which is the last day of the Nigeria Fashion Week, is dedicated to climate change awareness walk and tree planting exercise. Those that will be part of this exercise include local, national and international guests and partners.

Nigeria Fashion Week

This idea is a great one.

Do you have an Eco-friendly product or idea? Email and have your work showcased on the Blog.

ICT and climate change, an important linkage.

9 Sep

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) plays major roles in climate change mitigation and adaptation.This is increasingly being recognized within the climate change technology transfer negotiations because according to the World Development Report 2010, the use of ICT is predicted to reduce total greenhouse gases by 15 per cent by 2020.

Beyond climate change mitigation, ICT has a prominent role to play in realizing Nigeria’s Vision 2020 mandate of building a large, diversified, sustainable and competitive economy that harnesses the energies and talents of its people and guarantee high standard of living and quality of life for its citizens.  The convergence between climate change mitigation and meeting growth targets is particularly important to Nigeria.

Overtime, the impact of ICT on sustainable development has often been underestimated by policy makers.  The importance of this sector can be felt in the construction of ICT enabled energy efficient buildings and electric appliances, manufacturing, logistics and power grids. Others include ICT enabled business models, markets and lifestyles. It plays essential roles in monitoring, modeling, administration and dissemination of climate change information and technology.

It has other indirect positive impact on the environment, for instance, through its role in increasing general per capita wealth through productivity, GDP growth and boosting the social well being of the populace. It also helps in addressing the poverty situation in the country.

It is clear that ICTs, as both general purpose and specific technologies, are necessary in order to monitor, model, administrate and disseminate climate change activities.

ICT products are used for environmental monitoring such as monitoring of weather and climate change, deforestation using satellite imagery, environmental modeling, and computer simulations of climate change.

Other administrative uses include carbon trading schemes, dissemination including information sharing, environmental advocacy reduction, physical mail and paper use.

Online purchasing; use of e-government services, video-conferencing, telemedicine, and teleporting and other remote working arrangements are all ICTs use in climate change monitoring.

Though ICTs are instrumental to greenhouse gas mitigation, it is also estimated that the ICT sector and ICT products are currently responsible for about 2% of global GHG emissions. Unfortunately, the high rate of growth in ICT penetration and increases in processing power means that, without mitigation, the harmful contributions of ICT are likely to grow quickly.

For ICTs to contribute to mitigation and adaptation of climate change, the following actions are suggested at different levels.

At the national level, there should be a clear policy and regulatory framework for the implementation of ICTs, which will impact on the level of education and skill of potential practitioners.

Nigeria must make ICT education compulsory in both secondary and tertiary schools to promote early use of energy efficient equipment.

At the global level, where there are international partnerships and influence, synergy is required to implement technology transfer to facilitate the fight against climate change. The developed parties should ensure the transfer of software technologies which are easier and less cumbersome and which will promote climate change mitigation in developing countries. Encouraging ICT development in Nigeria will ultimately inspire local innovations and will promote the use of sustainable sources of energy.


As Nigeria prepares its mitigations strategy, the role of ICT in meeting a high economic growth and low carbon economy must be central. In doing so, the linkage between climate change mitigation and meeting the targets of the Vision 2020 will be strengthened.




Hamzat Bala Lawal is with the International Centre for Energy, Environment and Development (ICEED) Abuja and an active member of the Nigerian Youth Climate Action Network. He also ensures my laptop gets loads of  ”TLC” .