Archive for May 30, 2008

Green Machine

The other day I stumbled across Nihon Hacks, a site that offers creative ways to make life easier in Japan. It includes tips about recycling, composting your veggies, and using plastic tofu containers as planters. It got me thinking: is it easier to go green in Japan?

Obviously the Kyoto Protocol sends the message that Japan (among others) is serious about curbing global warming, but what about day-to-day living for the average citizen?

In an editorial article for CLEAN (Citizen’s League for Environmental Action Now), Todd Bynon, a writer and military man stationed in Japan, revealed what he considers to be key differences between living in Japan and living in the States.

In Japan:

1. Public Transportation is fast, clean and efficient, and cuts down enormously on car emissions
2. Recycling is taken very seriously, with fines imposed for incorrect usage
3. Japan is a leader in hybrid vehicles
4. Parks and “green spaces” are prevalent
5. Used-good stores are popular

Bynon is quick to point out that Japan could do better in the renewable energy department. Still, I think Japan is ahead of the U.S. when it comes to green living. My apartment building, in the middle of Los Angeles, doesn’t provide any type of recycling, and nobody I know takes public transportation on a regular basis; we all drive cars.

Check out BEE Japan, “a group of international members that promotes environmental awareness and green living in Japan,” for some inspiring ideas – including information on cross-country bike trips.

Sarah S.

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May 30, 2008 at 10:17 am 6 comments


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