How can YOU, as a super cool student, help the planet by reducing your carbon footprint? – By Deborah Akintayo

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Hey kids! Happy New Month from us at CEGE. We trust you have had a smooth transition into classes and other school-related activities. As we step into the love week (Valentine’s), we at CEGE have something fun to share with you. Valentine’s is generally seen as a celebration of love to those around us; our family, friends, neighbours, teachers… and the environment. I’m guessing you forgot the last one. No worries! Some people do. But that should not be so.  Why should the environment be on your love list this valentine’s? Simple, because we can’t live without it! 


The environment is just as important as our family and friends. Why? The environment provides the air we breathe, the food we eat, and the places we like to see. Without all these, we would not enjoy the time with our family and friends as much. Imagine a hot world with terribly unpredictable weather (Too cold on some days and too hot on others, drought because of no rain, and floods because of too much rain). Although this is already happening in some parts of the world, it can be far worse if we don’t take action and begin to show love to our environment. “Adults control the world; what can I do as a child?”.  While it is true that adults made most decisions that have made the world the way it is today, there is still much you can do as a child or young adult in your space, one of which is to reduce your carbon footprint. 


What is your carbon footprint? It is the total amount of carbon dioxide and methane gas you release into the environment by consuming energy. Remember carbon dioxide? It’s the air we breathe out our noses and the one plants and trees breathe in.  Most of the energy produced in the world is done by burning fossil fuels such as Petroleum. Everything we do requires energy. You need it in the form of fuel for cooking, driving, and even in the form of the paper you write with in school. To illustrate, suppose it takes 7 units of energy for plants to mature into trees. It takes 2 units of energy to cut down the tree and 5 units to transport it to a factory. The factory uses 7 units of energy to convert a tree into paper and another 3 to transport it to Lagos, where you live. This means that when you buy the paper, It is worth 24 units of energy. It will probably take you about 2 units of energy to throw it out in the dustbin, But the real energy used was 24 units. Now imagine if everyone in the world threw out a book. That would be about 8 billion × 24 units. 


Our lifestyles can determine how much energy it takes to satisfy our daily habits. Another definition of carbon footprint could be the total impression we make on modern Earth while we live. Although Earth has a natural way of recycling the amount of carbon in the atmosphere through a process referred to as the carbon cycle. You can still reduce the amount of energy you consume by; 

  1. Turning off the lights around you when not in use.
  2. Taking walks to school with your parents or walking to places that are generally close.
  3. Unplugging electronic devices like your TV, fridge, tablets, and phones were not in use.


These are just a few. With an adult present, you can always read more about ways to reduce your carbon footprint on the Internet. As we go into this week of love, why don’t we show love to mother Earth by taking steps to reduce our carbon footprint? Why choose only one week?  Let’s do it every single day. Till next time…