Earth Day Nigeria, anybody?
It’s International Earth Day on Saturday, April 22, and these are the facts you should have.
Earth Day was first celebrated in 1970 and until year 2000 when it went annual, it was celebrated every decade.
It is marked by series of events – festivals and rallies inclusive, in nearly 200 countries, all geared at demonstrating support for environmental protection and cultivating sustainable communities for all people.
Last year, the theme was ‘Trees for the Earth.’ At the Paris celebration event titled United Nations Climate Change conference, about 120 countries, including US and China, signed a climate protection treaty. As of March this year, the number had increased to 196. The focus of Earth Day 2017 is to increase environmental and climate literacy.
In Nigeria, environmental and climate literacy is at an abysmally low level – perhaps because people have seemingly bigger daily challenges. Environmental pollution is normal. Smoking generator sets, smoking car silencers, refuse burning, open-air defecation, indiscriminate waste disposal systems, are just some of the basic ills; and there are the more complex ones like, oil spillage and desert encroachment.
So what can you do in private capacity?
* Dispose sachets (water) and bottles properly
* Embrace greenery – cultivate gardens and plant trees
* Go paperless as much as you can
* Invest in solar-powered gadgets
* Never dispose oil on land or water
* Use proper waste or sewage disposal systems
* Recycle as much as you can
* Share these tips with your neighbour
If you or your organisation is putting together an event or march to enhance climate literacy you can register your event here: http://www.earthday.org/register/
Remember that the first Earth day celebration in America drew 20 million participants drawn from colleges, universities and hundreds of communities. You can do it too.