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Expert canvasses change of lifestyles for sustainable environment

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Lagos, June 11, 2019 Mrs Ronke Odeneye, Director of Environmental Services, Lagos State Ministry of Environment, on Tuesday advised Lagos State residents to change their lifestyles and maintain a more sustainable environment.

Odeneye told the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos that a change in a lifestyle was necessary to address the issues of global warming and environmental degradation.

“We hold the ace individually to indulge in positive ways of living that will make a difference in the society.

“It is important for us to improve our lifestyles by exercising, planting more trees and use less toxic things.

“Basically, it is a wake-up call to ethical responsibility for everyone to be more aware of how they live to send a positive message to the upcoming generations,” she said.

The director said she recently participated in a clean-up exercise organised by the Junior Chamber International in Lagos.

Odeneye said she was happy that some youths were interested in cleaning up the environment.

“It is a good thing, because youths are people that we will be handing over the baton to.

“A clean environment leads to a clean life, and the vision of the ministry is to have a flood-free, hygienic city and sustainable environment for all,” she said.

Odeneye urged residents in the state and other parts of the country to be mindful of how they go about generating wastes in their day-to-day activities.

“We should think before we buy what we need, and be mindful of how we generate wastes.

“Buying things in containers that are useful and reusable is a good way to go about reducing wastes from the source.

“Using washable bags that can be reused is better than using bags that are not biodegradable,” she said.

Odeneye described the environment as the only thing we had, and that we should desist from polluting it if we were expecting to see a different result.

“We should stop throwing things out from cars’ windows.

“Some wastes are not really wastes, but are resources that are out of use to us, but can be useful to another person.

“We are presently living in a society where things can be reused; for instance, old newspapers can be taken to toilet roll recycling centre, among other recyclable products.

“Even, human wastes can be used as biogas to generate power, which some countries have started adopting,” she said.

Odeneye said that the quality of air around us was of grave concern, because there were so many issues surrounding indoor and outdoor air pollution.

“Indoor pollution comes basically from gas and kerosene stoves, candles, incense, cigarettes and many other things people use in the house.

“These may give children asthma, while outdoor pollution stems from industrial activities, gas flaring and the exhaust pipes of vehicles that ply our roads.

“We can reduce the emissions of carbon into the atmosphere, which is a major cause of climate change by adjusting our lifestyles,” she said.

The director said that people should learn to trek places of short distances, instead of using vehicles.

She also encouraged industrialists to adopt abatement technologies that would monitor the amount of emission from their facilities to have clean air in the city.

According to her, planting more trees will provide an avenue for carbon dioxide to be sucked in and converted into a much more breathable air for the society.

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