Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Review from Risa Onishi

Risa Onishi


(Risa Onishi, Support Staff of English Guided Tour)

Wind energy and Solar energy have been around for quite a long time, yet they have not spread widely in Japan. Ten years have passed since the Kyoto Protocol was first adopted. However, we are not doing a good job in reducing CO2 emission. “Global Warming”, “Climate Change”, “CO2 Emission Reduction”, all seem to sound familiar to most people. However, have “actions” that promote CO2 emission reduction being introduced? One major promotion I can think of is “Cool biz” and “Warm biz” that was promoted by the Ministry of Environment. I personally think this was a big first step in successfully promoting CO2 emission reduction. However, how can these actions be promoted to individuals, young and elderly, whom may have some interests in CO2 emission reduction but do not know where to start? Are there any ways to include these people CO2 emission reduction activities?

Japan, namely Tokyo, is a train society, where the train system is very convenient and systematic that train is a major, key mode of transportation. Amongst the several eco-friendly products I saw at the Eco Products Exhibition 2006, JR East struck me the most. They were introducing power generation by vibration in floor panels. This system allows generation of power through floor panels of the entrance of the station when people walk through the ticket machine. The vibration created by walking is transformed as clean energy. What is great about this is that both environmentally conscious people and those who are not can cooperate to CO2 emission reduction subconsciously just by going on the train! Most environmentally friendly activities involve some degree of physical or mental/psychological dedication for implementation, but this system allows people’s involvement without much effort. Some may say that dedication without consciousness or effort is meaningless. But I feel that there are many people who just need an opportunity to realize that there are ways of helping the environment through simple activities. The society just needs to build a foundation for those people if it wants to achieve the goal of CO2 emission reduction. People who are environmentally conscious probably are carrying out some kind of environmentally friendly activities already. Society must build a system to support these people, and also at the same time create a system so that those who are not environmentally conscious can also be included in CO2 emission reduction activities.

It is easy to be blind about environmental issues if one chooses to, especially living in a big city like Tokyo. But because we live in a city where the train system is widely used, this usage of power generation by vibration in floor panels of ticket machine is something we can take advantage of. The system is still in a trial stage and efficiency is still being studied. I truly hope for the success in the research result and the implementation of this system in all train stations throughout Tokyo in the near future. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if simple activity you do everyday helps the reduction of CO2 emission?

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Thursday, December 28, 2006

Eco Product 2006 Review (Shiro Hosojima)

The "Eco Product Exhibition 2006" was held at the Tokyo Big Site from December 14-16th. This giant three day Exhibition consisted more than 550 booths ranging from Corporation, Local Governments, NGO, and University club.

Every year, Eco-Product Exhibition are making developments by sharing knowledges and to share new roles/discliplinary tactics for consumers to engage in sustainable lifestyle manners. Numbers of the attendence has been making dramatic growth every year. In year of 2006, in total of over 152,000 people has attended, comparing 2006 by 2005, attendence has grown about 12,000 people.
JFS Volunteer Journalist
(my friends at the Exhibition)

The exhibition itself is in its process of becoming one of the true international exhibition.
Language barrier is one of the challenges at the exhibition,

Mr. Nakamori (JFS Staff) at JFS joint booth)

So, what does Japan for Sustainability do?
We offer an English Guided tour for international guests and non-native Japanese speaker that reside in Japan. Our particpants varies from: governments, researchers, students, professors, journalists, and etc.

So, what kind of tour do you give?
English Guided Tour (Mr. Cameron Group)3
We give about hour and half tour around the exhibition. Every year, our tour staff members pick out about 4 to 5 booth within its concept of the tour. Within the concept we show our audience the most prominent and unique ecological product and service at the exhibition. In 2006, we experimented on new project to show our exciting tour to people who cannot attend Eco Product Exhibition in Japan. We handed a camera to one person from the tour group and asked to record some of the interesting things they saw at the exhibition.
Please check out our movie project!
JFS English Guided Tour Movie Project


Ocha-zuke
At the end of the tour, we had secret presents to our guests by serving traditional Japanese Soup Bowl called "Ocha-zuke (Hot tea over rice)" from Be-Good Cafe (NGO)
Many of the guests had trouble using the chopsticks, but that is also the part of the tour by engaging and understanding the cultures of Japan.
So, whats in 2007? Ummm... You will know as you join the tour!

Shiro Hosojima

Shiro Hosojima(team leader)

In 2007, we are looking forward to make progress in English Guided Tour by accurately forecasting the current activities of Ecological product and Green business/service in Japan.
I am also planning to add special services and project next year!

Hope you will be joining us at the tour next year!

*for more pictures:
EcoProduct Picture Galleries

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