A lot is currently going on in the country. Then again a lot is always going on. There is no light, traffic is insane and public office holders are going around slapping tax paying citizens. Reading about how you can help make this tiny corner of the planet we live in still livable in the next couple of decades might be the last thing you are interested in. Especially because you have plans to port to Canada and they have their shit figured out. But just hear me out for a minute (or three).

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Reports rank Nigeria the tenth most air-polluted country in the world. As if that’s not terrifying enough, in 2017 more than 114,000 people died from air pollution in Nigeria. The air we breathe in Nigeria is quite literally the most harmful in all of Africa. So if you thought this wasn’t a ‘now’ problem or a ‘you’ problem, well we have some bad news for you. It is. The good news is you can help, and you won’t just be saving Nigeria, you’ll also be saving your true home – Canada and well the rest of the planet.

You really don’t have to drive everywhere

You know another great way to get that summer body on about from the gym membership you are not using? Walk around a little. Driving from No.2 to No. 4 to see your friend who lives on the same street.

Skip the plastic bags

Here’s a fun fact you don’t have to get the thing you buy at supermarkets packed up in a plastic bag you can go in with your own bags. Maybe a couple of the thousand and one bags you’ve been collecting since 2002.

And just buy less plastic

Buy a water bottle you can refill from your dispenser instead of buying a dozen bottles of plastic water every week. If you don’t have a dispenser, make sure you refill all of your recycled bottles with the office dispenser. You can also use water dispenser bottles without a dispenser with this nifty tool.

Recycle, recycle, recycle

Reuse everything. Every bag, every jar, every bottle. There’s absolutely nothing that can’t be reused. Just ask your mum.

Switch out your toothbrush

If you are living right you should be changing your toothbrush every three to four months. And if I just reminded you to go change your toothbrush, you are welcome. The problem with billions of people changing their toothbrush so often is this – Over 99% of the toothbrushes we use are made of plastic, they also never get recycled. That plastic ends up in landfills and invariably our oceans. Switching to bamboo toothbrushes which are completely biodegradable and compostible can help with this. You can buy them here.

Separate your trash

I know you have many things on your mind. Like how we are going to survive the next four years with Uncle Bubu as our president. But it’ll take you two minutes to do this. Four separate bags, four separate bins. Plastic (only plastic you couldn’t possibly reuse) goes into one, paper into another, tins into the third and everything else into the last.

Quit smoking and cut off your smoker friends

For smokers, given that ‘smokers are liable to die young’ is put on every box of cigarettes, I don’t think anything I say is going to get you to quit smoking. This is just a friendly reminder that it’s not just killing you, it’s killing the people around you. Second-hand smoke is real, tell your smoker friends they can play around with lung cancer on their own. And if you like them a little too much to cut them off, you should at least walk out of a room people are smoking in. This one is for shisha smokers too, it’s just as bad guys, quit it.

Buy all of the plants

They are cute, they make your room and house look fancy AF and they help to purify the air within your home. If you are not ready to save the planet, you could at least start with saving yourself.


Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.