I think it is safe to assume that Nigerians are a bit familiar with the word, ‘recycle’. Regardless of what we believe, recycling has been existing since the old days. It is, however, gaining more grounds now. Before we go on, don’t forget to read Weight Loss: 6 easy exercises to burn fat.
I can remember while I was growing up. Anytime we buy plastic drinks in my home, my grandmother will tell me not to dispose of them because some ‘agbo‘ will be going into them. These plastics always serve us for a while. We use the next set of bottles for filling palm oil or groundnut oil, and so on.
Even in my school these days, you can see many of us going around with bottled water. Meanwhile, some of us are not so buoyant to donate 2000 to the bottled water company in a month. We usually buy one bottle, and then it serves us for days by filling it up with sachet of pure water or clean tap water. Even though this practice is advantageous to human, some Nigerians still think it is a poverty mentality. However, I can’t see the bad in filling up clean bottles with water and refrigerate it.
More to Recycling
Recycling is more than just keeping empty plastic bottles and aluminium cans out of the dumpster. Recycling is a process that includes collecting a wide range of recyclable materials, processing them into raw materials and then manufacturing the raw materials into new products.
Advantages of Recycling
You want to know what recycling does? You are probably curious if it’s more than just helping to save our ecosystem by making our environment cleaner. Below are some benefits of recycling.
It saves more energy and resources
When we produce a ton of paper with recycled materials; Do you know that we save about 17 trees, 450 gallons of oil, and 7 gallons of water? Also, for every ton of plastic, we save the equivalent energy of 1000 to 2000 of gasoline?
It decreases pollution
Imagine your house was few steps from Oko Filling on Lasu-Iba Express Road in Lagos or any dump area, that terrible stench is enough to make your head pound for days and it could even affect your health.
Saves the earth
When items are recycled instead of been burnt, it protects the planet. Once papers are recycled, it reduces the number of trees that will go into the production of papers. It saves our oceans and reduces the stress of our fishermen who provide the fish we eat because when the sea is clean, we can have more fishes.
Serves as storage and covering
In a Nigerian home, when you go out and whatever you buy is packaged into a polythene bag, you come home, unload and keep the bag because a day is coming when you will need to put stuff in a bag, and it will be useful. Same goes for the plastics, after drinking the soft drink or chilled water, you rinse and fill up with tap water and place in the fridge, and you have your chilled water to serve yourself, your family and visitors.
Also, disposable plastic plates are available a lot now, when we go to restaurants, we buy ‘to-go’. After eating, you keep the plastic and use it to hold your ingredients in the kitchen or even use it to consume.
Money and Recycling
Do you know that you can make money off recycling? Do you know that you can use that brown carton to make Ankara accessories like earrings and sell them?
Do you know that you can use that tyre lying aimlessly in your compound to make Ankara props for sitting rooms and even to be used in a studio depending on your creativity?
Do you know you can buy metal scraps and resell it to industries making use of such metals?
Most importantly, do you know some companies will pay you for bringing in pure water sachets, PET plastic bottles, used beverage cans, glass bottles, old newspapers and brown corrugated cartons?
For instance, RecyclePoints is one of recycling companies in Lagos. They are point-based incentive model with which they collect recyclable items from registered post-consumers and in turn reward them with points, which, when accumulated, can be used to redeem household items and cash.
Don’t be surprised! There are a lot of things you can recycle among that trash of papers, plastics, tiles, aluminium etc. In conclusion, I know this whole idea is out in Nigeria, but we need to take deliberate actions. The sooner we do things deliberately, the more the results are tagged positive. Lastly, change begins with you and me.