I hope you all know that Nigeria is not a major contributor to global warming, and it is really of great concern to all of us since African countries have been identified as the most vulnerable. Combating climate change is a global effort and, as such, everyone must play its role to reduce the greenhouse gas (GHG) emission.
On an individual or community level, there are tips from various scholars around the globe which might HELP to reduce the EMISSION. The include:
1. Replace a regular incandescent light bulb with LED bulb for less energy than a regular bulb. This simple switch will save large amount of carbon dioxide a year.
2. Clean or replace filters on your furnace and air conditioner. Cleaning a dirty air filter can save large amount of carbon dioxide a year.
3. Choose energy efficient appliances when making new purchases. Look for the Energy Star label on new appliances to choose the most energy efficient products available.
4. Do not leave appliances on standby. Use the “on/off” function on the machine itself. A TV set that’s switched on for 3 hours a day and in standby mode during the remaining 21 hours uses about 40% of its energy in standby mode.
5. Move your fridge and freezer. Placing them next to the cooker or boiler consumes much more energy than if they were standing on their own.
6. Defrost old fridges and freezers regularly. Much better is to replace them with newer models, which all have automatic defrost cycles and are generally up to two times more energy-efficient than their predecessors.
7. Cover your pots while cooking. Doing so can save a lot of the energy needed for preparing the dish. Preferably, use pressure cookers and steamers
8. Use less hot water. It takes a lot of energy to heat water.
9. Insulate and weatherize your home. Properly insulating your walls and ceilings can save 25% of your home heating bill and reduce large amount of carbon dioxide a year.
10. Be sure you’re recycling at home. You can save large amount of carbon dioxide a year by recycling half of the waste your household generates.
11. Recycle your organic waste. Around 3% of the greenhouse gas emissions through the methane is released by decomposing bio-degradable waste. By recycling organic waste or composting it if you have a garden, you can help eliminate this problem! Just make sure that you compost it properly, so it decomposes with sufficient oxygen, otherwise your compost will cause methane emissions and smell foul.
12. Reuse your shopping bag. When shopping, it saves energy and waste to use a reusable bag instead of accepting a disposable one in each shop. Waste not only discharges CO2 and methane into the atmosphere, it can also pollute the air, groundwater and soil.
13. Reduce waste. Most products we buy cause greenhouse gas emissions in one way or the other, e.g. during production and distribution. By taking your lunch in a reusable lunch box instead of a disposable one, you save the energy needed to produce new lunch boxes.
14. Plant a tree. A single tree will absorb one ton of carbon dioxide over its lifetime. Shade provided by trees can also reduce your air conditioning bill.
15. Buy locally grown and produced foods. Buying locally will save fuel and keep money in your community.
16. Buy fresh foods instead of frozen. Frozen food uses 10 times more energy to produce.
17. Seek out and support local farmers markets. They reduce the amount of energy required to grow and transport the food to you by one fifth.
18. Buy organic foods as much as possible. Organic soils capture and store carbon dioxide at much higher levels than soils from conventional farms. If we grew all of our corn and soybeans organically, we’d remove 580 billion pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere!
19. Eat less meat. Methane is the second most significant greenhouse gas and cows are one of the greatest methane emitters. Their grassy diet and multiple stomachs cause them to produce methane, which they exhale with every breath.
20. Reduce the number of miles you drive by walking, biking, carpooling or taking mass transit wherever possible. Avoiding just 10 miles of driving every week would eliminate large amount of carbon dioxide emissions a year.
21. Start a carpool with your co-workers or classmates. Sharing a ride with someone just 2 days a week will reduce your carbon dioxide emissions.
22. Keep your car tuned up. Regular maintenance helps improve fuel efficiency and reduces emissions. When just 1% of car owners properly maintain their cars, nearly a billion pounds of carbon dioxide are kept out of the atmosphere.
23. Drive carefully and do not waste fuel. You can reduce CO2 emissions by readjusting your driving style.
24. Check your tires weekly to make sure they’re properly inflated. Proper tire inflation can improve gas mileage by more than 3% it will increase fuel efficiency thus makes a difference!
25. When it is time for a new car, choose a more fuel-efficient vehicle. You can save 3,000 pounds of carbon dioxide every year if your new car gets only 3 miles per gallon more than your current one. You can get up to 60 miles per gallon with a hybrid.
26. Try telecommuting from home. Telecommuting can help you drastically reduce the number of miles you drive every week.
27. Encourage your school or business to reduce emissions. You can extend your positive influence on global warming well beyond your home by actively encouraging other to take action.
28. Encourage the switch to renewable energy. Successfully combating global warming requires a national transition to renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and biomass. These technologies are ready to be deployed more widely but there are regulatory barriers impeding them.
29. Protect and conserve forest worldwide. Forests play a critical role in global warming: they store carbon. When forests are burned or cut down, their stored carbon is release into the atmosphere – deforestation now accounts for about 20% of carbon dioxide emissions each year.
30. Consider the impact of your investments. If you invest your money, you should consider the impact that your investments and savings will have on global warming.
31. Make your city cool. Ask your legislators to stop global warming by passing innovative transportation and energy saving legislation bill e.g. climate change bill.
32. Tell Assembly to act. Tell your representative to support it and finally play your role through the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Professor Nasiru M. Idris is the Dean, Faculty of Environmental Science, Nasarawa State University, Keffi