Since Chuk Odenigbo made our Top 25 list in 2012 for his role as co-chair of Greenovations at Queen’s University (Kingston, ON) he has continued his environmental innovating.
Since we last heard from Chuk, he has delved into communications and scholarly pursuits to further sustainability. He has been featured as an opinion blogger for a piece to the United Nations in lieu of the Rio + 20 Conference in Brazil. He has another publication pending in a peer-reviewed journal, Reflections. This year also saw the fruition of two thesis projects, one written in China on environmental science and the other on the Walkerton Crisis.
Most noteably, Odenigbo voyaged overseas on exchange to China, representing the Canadian Sustainability scene abroad. His internship was with a Chinese non-governmental organization (NGO) called "Aifen Environment Protection" (AEP). His role helped the NGO obtain funding and implement the first electronic-waste recycling system in China. He also helped them further their research and programming through extending their existing recycling system throughout the city of Shanghai.
Chuk was asked to create an advertising campaign to raise awareness about the new e-waste recycling program, which as excellent chance to recycle the skills he used as co-chair of Greenovations, creating do-it-yourself guides and raising awareness. The campaign was endorsed by the UNDP and AEP.
It is important to Chuk that everyone recognizes their responsibility in e-waste. He writes passionately of China and the impact e-waste has. Chuk educates through his blog: “It is estimated that in Guiyu (贵屿), one of the more infamous towns for improper e-waste disposal, 82% of the children under 6 years have lead poisoning. E-waste dumping has become a very attractive option for developed nations because it allows companies to avoid the costs of proper environmental clean-up, and enables them to reap higher profits… In order for China to move forward in a sustainable manner and protect its future generations, proper e-waste management must become a priority."
Chuk’s worked for AEP has the potential to impact thousands in China and provides guidance for the local citizens to safely manage e-waste.