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Starting small: Tips for creating a sustainable life in Japan

6 Comments
By Jes Kalled

On the heels of the global climate change strike that took place recently, and in the wake of Swedish activist, Greta Thunberg’s globally moving speech, it’s hard to not get involved in the eco-friendly conversation.

Just last year in August of 2018, Greta initiated a solo strike from school for climate change awareness. Today she stands with tens of thousands of people who are inspired, motivated, and ready for action. “I want you to act as if the house is on fire, because it is.” She boldly stated in a speech in January 2019 at the World Economic Forum.

In an effort to inform myself on actions I could take in Tokyo, I spoke with Robin Lewis of Social Innovation Japan and Deborah Vitali, Marisa Gelenscer, Pamela de la Fuente, and Karen Dawber of EAS-Y Green Group, two groups in Tokyo actively pushing for more eco-conscious changes. Both interviews were educational, unique, and perhaps most importantly, similar in their approach to impact real change for the environment of Japan. Their message? Start small.

They gave me the following tips to begin creating a more sustainable lifestyle in Tokyo. Small things that we can shift or change that may just begin to put out the fire. So, Tokyo, let’s look at our options.

The following interviews have been condensed, edited, and combined as if they’ve happened in one, lively, eco-friendly space. 

1. Make use of the most powerful of the ‘R’ mantras: Refuse

Refuse-Starting-Small-Tips-for-Creating-a-More-Sustainable-Lifestyle-in-Japan.jpg

According to an article that Robin wrote for Medium, Japan is second in the world for plastic “waste per capita” at a whopping 106 kilos, which is “more than China and the rest of Asia combined.” Despite Japan having a reputation for a country that has detailed and organized recycling procedures, a closer look at the practice shows that only about 30 percent of the recycled plastics are actually reused while the remaining 70 percent is incinerated.

So what’s the best thing we can do? “Refuse.” says Robin, this being the most effective of the ‘R’ mantras (refuse, reduce, reuse, repair, recycle).

Click here to read more.

© Savvy Tokyo

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

6 Comments
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It is frustrating, the amount of plastic wrapping used on fresh produce. When I decided to refuse plastic, I ended up not being able to buy bananas, figs, mushrooms, potatoes... It is ridiculous.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Greta Thunberg has to go to school. Let her first learn how people live in countries with bad economies. Then let her tell them how to live.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Greta Thunberg has to go to school. Let her first learn how people live in countries with bad economies. Then let her tell them how to live.

Yes, get back into that pot of hot water frog, your comments are making the other frogs uncomfortable.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Governments need to mandate sustainable practices for businesses and fund research, we cannot carry on like this even with every consumer doing their own 'sustainable' consuming

1 ( +1 / -0 )

First off, don’t go DRINKING every night.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Greta Thunberg has to go to school. Let her first learn how people live in countries with bad economies. Then let her tell them how to live.

By that time, it'll be too late. Then what's the use of even doing it. Plastics for everybody!

Then we'd have old codgers reminiscing: "In my days, the beaches were blue and clean and full of sand, but now the darn young'uns have filled it with trash and their shenanigans!"

Not realizing that it was his generation that did what he's complaining about, lol

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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