From educating and advocating for environmental change to organising community recycling initiatives to starting their own recycling businesses, women are significantly impacting the environment and the economy by promoting sustainable practices. This Global Recycling Day, we’re spotlighting six women at the forefront of recycling and environmental change in Nigeria.
- Doyinsola Ogunye is a lawyer turned activist and environmentalist dedicated to educating children on the importance of caring for their environment and cultivating climate-friendly lifestyle habits. She is the founder of the Recycling Scheme for Women and Youth Empowerment (RESWAYE), Mental and Environmental Development Initiative for Children (MEDIC), Kids Beach Garden and Kids Clean Club. Doyinsola is also a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation goalkeeper and a fellow of the Royal African Young Leadership Forum led by the Ooni of Ife.
- Mariam Lawani is the Founder and CEO of Greenhill Recycling, a social enterprise that exchanges waste for value. Through her recycling company, Mariam creates opportunities for people to earn GREENPOINTS, reward-for-recycling that can be exchanged for health insurance, school fees, groceries, electricity bills, home appliances, cash or start-up capital for a micro business. Greenhill Recycling also does corporate, school and household recycling.
- Adejoke Lasisi is the founder and CEO of Planet3R, an environmentally sustainable textile company that uses water sachets to weave fashionable clothes, footwear, bags and mats. In 2020, Adejoke was recognised and celebrated by President Muhammadu Buhari as a youth innovator at the maiden celebration of National Youth Day. In 2022, Planet3R was nominated as one of the six global participants in the British Council’s Global Making Matter Challenge.
- Chioma Ukonu is the co-founder and COO of RecyclePoints Nigeria, a waste recycling and social benefit venture that creates value from everyday waste. RecyclePoint Nigeria uses a POINT-BASED incentive model to collect water sachets, bottles, cans, old newspapers and cartons from registered consumers in exchange for household items and cash. Chioma also volunteers at CleanUp Nigeria, Habitat for Humanity, ClimateSmart Nigeria and Green Women Forum.
- Temilade Salami is a climate education consultant, environmentalist and youth leader. She is also the founder of Eco champions, an organisation leading environmental change through climate education and advocacy and plastic waste management. Temilade authored two environmental books for children, and in 2020, she was named Nigeria’s 25 Under 25 Leader on Energy and Sustainability.
- Jumoke Olowookere is the Creative Director at African Creative Hub, a social enterprise on a mission to create a world without waste. In 2022, Jumoke created The Waste Museum to train individuals and organisations on sustainable ways to generate wealth through waste recycling and upcycling. There, artworks, equipment, furniture, and jewellery made from waste are showcased.
By taking action, these women are pushing us to ”think resource, not waste”. Here is to a waste-free Nigeria.