Energy Conservation

The Environmental Footprint of a Loaf of Bread

Do we know the environmental footprint of a loaf of bread?

When it comes to climate change, the first thing that comes to mind is the greenhouse gas emissions from industries. We also think of the gas emission from cars and the energy we use in our homes.

Of course, they are some of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions. But what about the bread we ate for breakfast?

A new study published on Monday 27th of February 2017 in ‘Nature Plants’ breaks down the environmental cost of producing a loaf of bread, from wheat field to bakery.

It finds that the bulk of the associated greenhouse gas emissions come from just one of the many steps that go into making that loaf: which is farming.

Farming as many energy intensive stages which involves emissions. For example, the machinery involved with tilling the soil, harvesting, or the electricity required to operate the mill, and bakery. But the biggest factor is the use of fertiliser to grow wheat, which accounts for 43% of greenhouse gas emissions.

The fertilizers also cause a lot of water pollution when they run off into streams and rivers.

‘What can society do about this issue?’

Farmers typically use more fertilizers than they need to, and not all nitrogen in the fertilizers is used up by plants. Some of the nitrogen goes back into the atmosphere as nitrous oxide, a potent greenhouse gas.

We can go back to the farmer and say, ‘Can you use less fertilizer, or use organic fertilizer?’ That could become a productive way to make sure that the food we eat has a smaller climate impact.

Also, there are known ways to reduce the use of nitrogen fertilizers, like applying fertilizers only at certain times of the growing season, when plants need them the most.

According to lead researcher Dr Liam Goucher, in every loaf there is embodied global warming resulting from the fertiliser farmers use to increase their wheat harvest.

People are aware of where bread comes from but there is lack of understanding about the environmental impact of that bread or the emissions contained by that bread.

Environmental News

Overpopulation: Causes, Effects, and Solutions

Overpopulation is a situation whereby, people living in an environment exceed the number of resources available to meet their needs. Overpopulation is one of the biggest problems we have here in Nigeria.

It is important to note that besides social well-being, the economic prosperity of a nation is dependent on its population growth rate. Demographically, Nigeria is running so fast that she has to stand still economically.

Developing nations face the problem of overpopulation more than developed countries, but it affects most of the earth as of now. When we are talking about overpopulation, we should first understand it’s causes.

Thus, the following are possible causes of overpopulation:

Better Medical Facilities: Illnesses that had claimed thousands of lives till now were cured because of the invention of vaccines. People now live longer because of better medical facilities available to them.

Migration: People move to better environments where best facilities are available in terms of, education, security, medicals, and employment.

Lack of Family Planning: Most developing nations have a large number of people who are illiterate, and have little or no knowledge of family planning. Thereby, getting their children married at an early age and increasing their chances of producing more kids.

The following are the effects of these causes of overpopulation on the economy:

Depletion of Natural Resources, degradation of the environment, a rise in unemployment rate, a high cost of living, brain drain, etc.

After considering the causes and effects of overpopulation, let us look at some possible solutions to reduce them.

Better Education: Educating the masses helps them understand the need to have two or three children at the most. Also, by educating the people, they learn about various safe sex techniques and contraceptives methods available to avoid unwanted pregnancy.

Family Planning Awareness: Raising awareness among people regarding family planning is very important. Letting them know about serious after effects of overpopulation can help control the rate of population growth.

Knowledge of Sex Education: Communicating sex education to young kids at the elementary level is key. By doing so, they learn the right way and not from their peers or through the internet.

In conclusion, Africa’s population is increasing and it’s not showing any signs of slowing down. The only probable solution is to encourage a culture of learning and good education.

Overpopulation: Causes, Effects and Solutions


Environmental News

Deep Sea Life Faces Dark Future Due to Warming and Food Shortage

Deep Sea Life Faces Dark Future Due to Warming and Food Shortage

Creatures that live in the deep sea are facing a desperate future due to food shortages and changing temperatures.

The deep ocean plays a critical role in sustaining our fishing, and removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The deep ocean is also a home to a huge array of creatures.

But new study reveals that food supplies at the seafloor in the deepest regions of the ocean could fall by up to 55% by 2100. Thereby, starving the animals and microorganisms that exist there.

We need to wake up and start realising that destroying the deep ocean, even though we can’t see it… [read more]

Most Wood Energy Schemes Are A ‘Disaster’ For Climate Change

There has been rapid growth in the use of wood energy for generating electricity. Thereby, speeding up not slowing down climate change.

Energy from trees has become a critical part of the renewable supply in many countries including the United Kingdom.

While much of the discussion has focussed on wind and solar power, across Europe, the biggest source of green energy is biomass. It supplies around 65% of renewable power – usually electricity generated from burning wood pellets.

EU Governments, under pressure to meet tough carbon cutting targets, have been encouraging electricity producers to use more of this form of energy by providing considerable subsidies for biomass burning.

Thus, cutting down trees and burning them as wood pellets in power plants is a disaster for climate policy… [read more]

Nigeria Needs $140bn To Fight Climate Change – World Bank

World Bank says the Nigerian Government will need about $140 billion to mitigate negative impacts of climate change in Nigeria.

Benoit Bosquet, an official of the World Bank, stated this at the Climate Change Knowledge Immersion Workshop in Abeokuta, Ogun State on Monday, 13th February, 2017.

The workshop was organised by the World Bank in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of the Environment.

He said Nigeria could not afford to toy with the global challenge, adding that the country would continue to get warmer by the day if the situation persisted… [read more]

Expert Charges Agencies on Waste Recycling

An environmentalist, Mr Abdullahi Aremu, has urged government’s waste management agencies and relevant stakeholders to train scavengers. They should train them to reuse and recycle waste to generate income to boost the nation’s economy.

Aremu, who is also the Director-General, Advocacy for Environmental and Sanitation Integrity, an NGO, gave the advice in Abuja in an interview with newsmen.

According to him, empowerment of scavengers to participate in the waste management will enhance job creation and multiply economic activities.

“People will generate income, if they can start sorting and recycling their wastes, especially cans, papers, among others… [read more]

NGO Wants More Access to Water and Sanitation

A network of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), has called on all tiers of government to support activities toward increasing access to water and sanitation in the country by 2030.

The National Coordinator, of the network known as the Society for Water and Sanitation (NEWSAN), Mr Leo Atakpu said it was saddening to note that Nigeria ranks high among countries with poor sanitation and water coverage, noting that with thoughtful funding and programmes this trend could be reversed.

“Access to basic sanitation and potable water will go a long way to reduce preventable diseases, deaths and improve lives… [read more]








Technology and Society – Impact of Technology on Society

Technology and Society – Impact of Technology on Society. One of the best things society could ever ask for is science and technology. Since the industrial revolution in the 18th century science has been in progress. The society has greatly gained with the invention of technology, without society, there would be no science and technology.

In order words, technology and the human life cannot be separated; society has a cyclical co-dependence on technology. Humans use technology to travel, communicate, learn, do business and live in comfort.

Technology can be referred to as the scientific knowledge to the practical problems we are experiencing in the world today.

It is impossible to explore how advanced technology has impacted our lives and how it will impact the future. The way we use it determines if its impacts are positive or negative as technology impacts the environment, people and the society.

For instance, we can use corn to make ethanol and this ethanol can be used as fuel. Fuel can be used to run machines and cars. However, if we decide to shift large quantities of corn meant for food production to fuel production, we would be left with small quantity of corn. Which means insufficient corn for consumption.

Looking at the example above, technology by itself is not harmful, but the way society uses it to achieve specific goals is what results into negative impacts.

Humans need energy to process products in factories, to run cars, to light homes and run technological machines like computers, but the only way we can do this without affecting the environment, is by shifting from exhaustible energy sources to renewable and inexhaustible sources like Solar / Wind energy.

Furthermore, infrastructure in the society has grown with the help of science and technology. Modes of transportation like electronic railway lines were realized and these as benefited the society by offering a better means of transportation.

Also, technology is making it so that there is an easier way for the poor to gain wealth. Before the age of information technology, the rich people had exclusive access to information. It kept the poor in the dark so they could not get the secrets to success in business. Thereby, making the rich remain rich and the poor remain poor. But with the invention of the internet, information has become more accessible to the poor.

In order words, science and technology has contributed largely to the vision of man about himself.

However, technology has also caused us concerns. Its poor application has resulted to the pollution of the environment. Therefore, we must learn how to use technology the right way.

For me, technology is now part of our world today. It has greatly helped us to become more efficient thus increasing our productivity. We can now save time and money with the use of technology.

It has also worked well in bringing unity into the world by turning it into a global village. Which has in turn helped people overcome cultural, and racial differences.


Energy Conservation

Water: An Essential Element for Life

Earth is the only planet in this universe where life is possible because of the availability of water and oxygen.

Water: an essential element for life. We refer to water as life because it is an important element for all living things. No living creature on earth can survive without water.

We find water in rivers, seas, wells, lakes, etc. but we lack clean drinking water. 71% of the earth surface is covered with water, however, we need to conserve water as there is very less percentage of clean water.

About 2% of water is fresh water and fit for human consumption. The main source of freshwater is groundwater because of the natural filtering system.

Water takes nothing from us but gives life to us instead. So why waste it?

Water is a basic requirement of life in all areas like; household, agriculture, industry, etc. It is nature’s precious gifts to us for the continuity of life on earth.

All living things need more water for their survival as their body consists mostly of water. The human body consists of two-thirds of water. Water does not have any colour, odour, taste and shape however it provides all to us in our life.

Water is also available in many forms like vapor, clouds, glaciers, etc. The life cycle of water on earth happens through evaporation, rain, and other means.

Water scarcity is the lack of access to safe water. It could be caused by man or climate change. People who have enough water do not appreciate it and they tend to waste it on unnecessary activities. Whereas, people at many places of the world are suffering from water scarcity or lack of water in their regions.

This is not a problem of one country or continent; it is a global issue which needs to be solved globally. Hence, the need to spread awareness to people about the importance of clean water. We should promote the saving of clean water to maintain the continuity of life on earth.

It’s time to join hands together and take effective actions regarding save water. If we don’t, lack of fresh water will exceed its natural replacement rate. There are different ways we can save water such as water conservation.

As water demands, will increase in future, it should be saved to ensure its availability for future generations. By minimizing the need for water to humans, local wildlife and migrating birds can be saved.

Water is known as the elixir of life, so we should save it to save a life.

NB: No one can live without water. Therefore, we should always remember to fill the glass up to the need.




Energy ConservationEnvironmental News

Eight Schools in Lagos Obtain Potable Water, Toilet Facilities

Eight Schools in Lagos Obtain Potable Water, Toilet Facilities

Teachers and pupils of eight public primary schools in Shomolu Local Government Area, and Bariga Local Council Development Area of Lagos State could not hold back their joy recently, as their dream of access to safe water and basic sanitation in the learning environment came true.

The feat which was made possible by Stop Diarrhoea Initiative (SDI), organised by Save the Children, with support from Reckitt Benckiser and Lagos State government aimed at addressing high prevalence of diarrhoea which accounts for over 16% of child deaths in Nigeria and an estimated 150,000 deaths mainly amongst children under five annually’ [read more]

Niger Delta Biodiversity Project Rescues Endangered Species

Following indiscriminate exploitation and destruction of natural resources, an intervention scheme funded by Global Environment Facility (GEF) is rekindling hope of preserving endangered species and plants within local communities in the Niger Delta.

The communities are part of a pilot project under the Niger Delta Biodiversity Conservation Project (NDBP), which began three years ago, budgeted to cost about $5.7 million and implemented by the Federal Ministry of Environment in partnership with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) through a project management unit in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

About four states – Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, and Delta were mapped out for the UNDP- GEF five- year project.  The states are characterized by high biological diversity, abundant natural resources, and extreme poverty. The long-term is to garner stakeholders’ support for the establishment of a Niger Delta Biodiversity Trust with local communities, oil and gas companies and government as core beneficiaries’ [read more]

2,500 Children Affected by Lead Poisoning in Niger

The Federal Ministry of Environment, says it has facilitated the treatment of lead poisoning of more than 2,500 children affected in Shikira community of Rafi Local Government Area of Niger.

Mrs. Aanu Basil, the Deputy Director, Marine Pollution, Contamination Clean-Up and Remediation in the ministry said that the clean-up programme was an intervention from government to prevent the lead poisoning outbreak in the community.

Mrs. Basil made this known in Abuja in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday 11th of February 2017. She observed that lead poisoning was as a result of unlawful artisanal gold mining in Angwa Megero, Angwa Kawo and Shikira communities of the state.

She also noted that the federal ministry of environment collaborated with the federal ministry of mines and steel and Ministry of Health to ensure effective implementation of the project’ [read more]

USAID Identifies Inappropriate Use of Fund as Problem Affecting Nigeria’s Development

The United States Agency for International Development, USAID, has identified inappropriate use of funds as one of the problems affecting national development in Nigeria.

The USAID Senior Planning and Program Adviser (Health Population and Nutrition Office), Mrs Celestine Carr, said the USAID was committed to supporting the efforts of the Nigerian government in preventing women and children from falling victims of preventable diseases, by injecting more funds to increase universal health coverage to all citizens.

Mrs. Carr advised federal and states governments to ensure judicious use of available health financing options in the face of dwindling global funding for the health sector in Nigeria.

She added that, “One of the challenges that the government has had both in national and state levels is inappropriate use of existing funds’ [read more]

Ireland Becomes First Country to Stop Funding Fossil Fuels

Ireland has made a history by signing itself as the first country in the world to completely stop investing its money in fossil fuels.

The fossil fuel divestment bill gathered the majority vote, 90 to 53, of the Irish parliament, in favour of putting breaks on coal, oil and gas investments from the eight-billion-pound Ireland Strategic Investment Fund. The piece of legislation is now set to move forward to the Committee stage in the Irish Parliament.

The Irish political system is now finally acknowledging what the overwhelming majority of people already know: That to have a fighting chance to combat catastrophic climate change we must phase out fossil fuels and stop the growth of the industry that is driving this crisis’ [read more]



Environmental News

Importance of a Healthy Environment

It is very crucial that we know the importance of a healthy environment.

A clean and hygienic environment is very essential to a healthy living. Therefore, we must protect and keep it safe to ensure nature’s balance on the earth.

The natural environment plays a great role in the existence of life on earth.

A healthy environment helps human beings, animals and other living things to grow and develop naturally. We refer to an environment as healthy when natural cycle goes side by side without any disturbance.

It is considered that the earth is the only planet in the universe that requires the environment for life existence.

However, environmental pollution has become one of the biggest problems we are facing today due to human activities and technological advancement.

Human activities and technological advancement affect the natural environment and we all must work together to preserve it.

Environmental pollution is affecting our daily lives negatively, as contamination of the environment causes diseases which humans suffer from.

In addition, there are various cycles which occur regularly between the environment and living things to maintain the nature’s balance. However, by any means if such cycles get disturbed, nature’s balance also gets disturbed which ultimately affects human lives.

Thanks to the environment, humans and other living creatures grow, develop and flourish on earth for thousands of years.

Note: Environmental pollution is not a community or city problem, it is a worldwide problem which we must solve together. Every citizen should be involved in an environmental safety campaign like the world environment day.

World Environment Day is an environmental awareness campaign celebrated every year on the 5th of June. This campaign takes place in order to spread awareness all over the world towards environmental cleanliness and safety. We all must participate in the campaign to know the importance of saving our environment.

The components of the natural environment are used as a resource. However, it is also exploited by humans to fulfil some basic physical needs. Hence, we should value our natural resources and stop putting so much pollution and waste to the environment.

Some of the ways we can reduce waste includes: reuse of some old things in new ways, repair and use broken things instead of throwing them away, use rechargeable batteries or renewable alkaline batteries, rain water conservation, etc.

It is hard to believe but true that only a little positive change by everyone can bring a major positive change in the deteriorating environment.

In conclusion, an environment is gifted by nature to nourish the life on earth and we must take very good care of it.



Energy ConservationEnvironmental News

UNDP Plants 500 Trees in Rivers State

UNDP Plants 500 Trees in Rivers State

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), has planted over 500 trees at Oko-Ohia Afara in Etche Local Government Area of Rivers State.

The exercise was part of the on-going Biodiversity conservation programme of the UNDP.

The national coordinator of the UNDP Niger Delta Biodiversity Conservation Programme Dr. Matthew Dore made this statement at Afara on the 23rd of January 2017 in an interview with newsmen. He urged for strong political will to preserve the forest from destruction.

He said that the tree planting exercise was to enable the forest to recover some of its losses due to a recent fire incident which gutted parts of the forest’ [read more]

Ecologist Warns Against Tree Felling

An environmentalist, Mr. Habib Omotosho, has urged Nigerians, particularly rural women, to stop cutting down trees for timber and firewood.

Omotosho, the National Coordinator, Environmental Advancement Initiatives, gave the advice in an interview in Abuja on the 30th of January 2017.

Omotosho described deforestation as a negative environmental phenomenon. He said his advice became imperative because many rural women had resorted to cutting down trees for firewood, owing to the high price of kerosene.

He also stressed that trees were very important to the ecosystem, as they absorbed the harmful carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere, thus acting as natural friends of humans.

However, ecologist say that trees absorb water in large quantities during heavy rains, but due to large-scale deforestation, there were fewer trees around to absorb and retain water.

He added that this had led to heavy floods, causing heavy losses of life and property’ [read more]

Fall Armyworm ‘Threatens African Farmers’ Livelihoods

Scientists are calling for urgent action to stop the spread of a pest that is destroying maize crops and spreading rapidly across Africa.

The Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International (Cabi) warns that the fall armyworm poses a major threat to food security and agricultural trade.

It says farmers’ livelihoods are at risk as the non-native larvae threatens to reach Asia and the Mediterranean.

It is called an armyworm because it eats its way through most of the vegetation in its way as it marches through crops. it is native to North and South America but was identified for the first time in Africa last year.

Scientists think the caterpillar or its eggs may have reached the continent through imported produce. Once established in an area, the adult moths can fly large distances and spread rapidly.

Dr Jayne Crozier, of Cabi, said the armyworm’s presence had now been confirmed in west Africa and was thought to be present in the south and east of the continent, many parts of which rely on maize for their staple diet.

The Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) is to hold an emergency meeting in Harare between 14 and 16 February 2017 to decide emergency responses to the armyworm threat’ [read more]

China Builds World’s Biggest Solar Farm: Quest for Green Superpower

China is on its way to becoming the first “Green Superpower” through building the world’s largest solar farm in the western province of Qinghai.

According to The Guardian, the mega-project is called the Longyangxia Dam Solar Park, a remote 27-square-kilometer solar farm that emphasizes the country’s desire to “transform” itself into a green superpower.

It was built for a whopping cost of 6 billion Yuan and is constantly expanding since 2013. The solar farm now has the capacity to produce 850 MW of power, which is more than enough to supply up to 200,000 households.

Anders Hove, a Beijing-based clean energy expert from the Paulson Institute, said that as early as 2012, solar power was “shunned” as a potential power source in China, given it being expensive.

However, New York Times revealed that costs for solar and wind power have fallen and by 2020, China aims to be producing 110 GW of solar power and 210 GW of wind power as part of the country’s ambitious plans to slash pollution and emissions’ [read more]

World Bank Honours Nigerian Lawyer Over Support for Environment

The World Bank has issued a certificate of appreciation to a Nigerian lawyer, Olaseni Oyefeso, for his contribution to “Enabling the Business of Agriculture 2017 World Bank project.

Oyefeso was identified as an expert on Nigerian Law regarding environmental matters.

He was contracted by the World Bank in February 2016 to render legal support on Nigerian laws and regulations relating to environmental matters, agricultural productivity and market access as well as Nigerian policy for the environment, agriculture and the legal framework for water in Nigeria’ [read more]



Environmental News

Environmental Degradation

Environmental degradation is a major global issue.

Daily, the population of the world is fast increasing, which has resulted in environmental degradation. This means that man’s insatiable needs have disturbed the whole environmental equilibrium.

Natural occurrences such as heavy rainfall, floods, storms, earthquakes, volcano eruption amongst a few have also contributed to environmental degradation. The reason why environmental degradation can be referred to as the deterioration of the environment by natural or human forces.

The above-mentioned factors have really degraded the environment and if ways to check it are not applied we will face serious consequences.

Environmental degradation caused by humans, can be effectively controlled.

But when the environmental degradation is caused by natural disasters, man is helpless. He can do nothing but try to prevent the extent of damage caused by this natural disaster.

When man himself plays a vital role in degrading the environment he lives in, then the problem becomes more serious.

We as humans must put an end to our insatiable needs and desires. We need to stop the indiscriminate cutting of trees because it will lead to environmental imbalance. Instead, we should know the value of tree plantation and plant as many trees as we can.

Furthermore, our ever-growing population must be checked because it puts an extra burden on our natural resources.

Apart from these, our industries emit smoke and discharge liquids including polluted water into the environment. This smoke contains many unwanted gases such as carbon monoxide and sulphur dioxide. All which are harmful to our health and environment.

Hence, factories should not be allowed to emit large quantities of harmful wastes into the air through their chimneys. They should discharge them into the rivers and other water bodies because this dirty water can be treated and recycled to be used again.

Most importantly, our environment must be protected. We must realise the fact that so long environment is there, our life is there.


Energy Conservation

Why We Need to Recycle Plastic

Why we need to recycle plastic and not add to the eight million tons of rubbish in our oceans. We live in a world obsessed with throwaway plastics which can also be referred to as disposable plastics. These plastics takes about 450 to 1,000 years to breakdown and decompose. It’s no wonder thousands of tons of plastic sit unrecycled in landfills.

The worst part of all this is that plastics break-down into micro-plastics and end up in our oceans. This type of rubbish is known as marine litter or marine debris. Marine litter can be referred to as human-created waste that has deliberately or accidentally been released in a lake, sea, ocean or waterway.

Once discarded, plastic is likely to end up in oceans after being washed down rivers or windblown from dumps. Thereby, harming our wildlife and polluting the environment.

This litter is found everywhere and affects an estimated 600 species of marine organisms that live in the oceans.

This brings us to the question

How can we fix a problem so rooted in our modern lifestyles?

It is hard to quantify the amount of rubbish in the oceans, as it is always moving. Much of the rubbish in the ocean is below the surface, which ends up sinking and resting on the seabed.

Some countries have taken a step further to reduce marine litter. For instance, “American football stadiums use degradable food packaging that degrades with the food. France became the first country to ban plastic cups, plates, and cutleries.

We have had enough of this throwaway living and we need to recognize that plastic isn’t throwaway. It can have value if it is designed properly. Hence, we can recycle it properly and reduce its leakage into the environment.

Furthermore, I think bottle deposit return system should be introduced. In this system, customers could be made to pay an extra fee for every plastic bottle or container purchased. After returning their used plastic, they get their deposit back.

Also, during festive periods, prizes could be given in addition to their deposit for returning plastics.

I’m sure people would be encouraged to return their used plastics to get their deposit back especially during this recession.

I hope consumers would embrace this idea as it will promote a healthy environment. And that we would be the first generation to leave our environment better than we found it.