Lifestyle

Eco-Friendliness

Due to lack of natural resources, Japan has become one of the most Eco-friendly nations on earth by necessity, whose recycling system is said to date back to Edo period which lasted from the early 17th century to the mid-19th century.

The DNA of such tradition, you might say, has not died out as Japan has become one of the most affluent societies on earth; in fact, it is still alive and visible to anyone who comes to Japan, including a small provincial town like Kimotsuki.

One of the examples of our eco-friendliness in daily life can be witnessed in the way we treat trash. Depending on the type of trash, it is placed in a different bag and taken to the community disposal station. There are different trash pickup days throughout the week and month. Burnable trash, such as paper and food scraps, are collected twice a week, whereas recyclables are picked up once a month.

On recycle day, plastic wrappers and packaging, white styrofoam food trays, plastic bottles, aluminum cans, and paper are all separated by each household.

Another good example might be Kotatsu, a local heating system developed in Japan. Kotatsu consists of several parts, including the low-height table, blanket-like cloth to cover the table, and the heater.

People, while sitting on the floor, place their under-body in Kotatsu to warm their body from legs on. Though Japan does have other means of heating, it is rare to see a central-heating system like in the United States, for instance, which is more energy-consuming therefore considered wasteful here.

The other example would be how locals dry their clothes. Instead of using an electric drier, they usually hang their clothes on a clothes line, which is made of metal bars or bamboo sticks. Some households do have a drier, but even so, on a sunny day, using the clothes line is more common and definitely less energy-consuming, therefore more Eco-friendly.