In a bit to make today’s waste tomorrow’s raw materials, Ewube Kelly, founder of One Green Africa, OGA, an organization based on environmental sustainability thinks we are wasting resources by throwing away waste instead of looking for alternative ways to put them into use.
The graduate of the Pan African University Institute Of Water and Energy Resources and Climate Change (PAUWES) thinks as we hope for a sustainable future, there is a need for waste crafting to be inculcated in Africa.
The organization founded in 2022 works closely with youths and women to train them in environmental management; the upcycling of waste ranging from plastics, cardboard, and e-waste to name a few.
Upcycling is a form of recycling where a waste product is given a new look, other than a complete transformation as is the case with recycling. Repurposing is very important because as the world’s population keeps growing, there is a need for more of everything to be produced thus, creating more waste. Instead of filling up our landfills with waste, we must take time to upcycle more and recycle as much as we can.
With this, OGA currently has two trainees in its facility and four volunteers who go out from time to time to pick from the streets waste materials needed for their training. These trainees are taught to create things like bedside lamps, hangers, flower jars, wall decorations, and hairbands, to name a few.
According to Kelly, Upcycling is a skill that when learned, individuals stand a chance to empower themselves financially as it is a form of DIY which is now trending on social media, especially TikTok. Thus, OGA does not just care about achieving SDG 13 (climate action) but impacts these youths with vocational skills to help them survive the job market.
OGA hopes that as years unfold, they will not just end up cycling waste but will also sort waste from households, offices, restaurants, and hotels to ensure that nothing gets to the streets.
With a project and vision as admirable as what OGA is doing, probably with the collaboration of other climate actors and quality education activists, OGA can impact more youths and women sooner than they predict.