Our home of Japan is known worldwide for its technological progressiveness. Some might think of Japanese cars or bullet trains when they think of the country’s achievements in this field. Some might find the transportation system or the efficiency of convenience stores to be a highlight. However, did you know that Japan has also been making efforts to be more environmentally sustainable? Here are 3 ways that Japan Goes Green by encouraging sustainability and environmental consciousness!
The Recycling System
One way that the Japanese government has encouraged the locals to care for the environment is through the comprehensive waste disposal and recycling system enforced all throughout the country. Although the specifics vary between cities and towns, common features include guidelines on separating combustible and non-combustible rubbish, disposal of non-recyclable materials, and collection of PET bottles, glass containers, and metal cans.
Although these rules might seem overwhelming and at times overly specific, it is through this strict system that the country is able to combat excessive waste. And it has been found to be effective, with a rate of 87% in recycling plastic waste in the country in 2021.
Education on Environment
Alongside the recycling system is education on how to care for the environment. One example is the guidebooks for proper waste disposal in each city, which often contain educational materials on how to reduce food loss. Some districts even have labels for events like “fridge clean up day” which encourage residents to use food that would otherwise have been thrown away. These guidebooks also include information on how to give excess food away to centres which hold food drives for the needy.
Aside from having lots of outlets where local governments collect and reuse garbage, even young children are taught about the importance of conserving the environment in their schools. Education in cities like Tokyo for instance include SDG-centred lessons which help children not only understand the value of caring for the environment, but the global population as well.
Conservation of Natural Treasures
Aside from being famous for its food and culture, Japan is also a famous tourist destination for its rich natural landscape. People from all over the world travel to the country for everything from hiking mountains, snowboarding, and enjoying onsen. To maintain the beauty of these sites, however, the Japanese government also has laws set in place for environmental protection. Prefectural, municipal, and local guidelines are set by the government on a national level through the Basic Environmental Plan.
Aside from this though, the locals at these tourist sites also run businesses that funnel support for maintaining the beauty of nature there. Many of these locations will have tourism offices that not only guide visitors, but help earn money to maintain the local environment. They can come in the forms of museums or tourist gift shops. By visiting these places and availing of their services, foreign and local tourists alike can contribute to keeping these natural treasures alive and well.
Like many other places, Japan still has a long way to go before it can be completely environmentally sustainable. However, these efforts from large institutions like the Japanese education system and the national government help to push the movement forward so that more people can participate in keeping the environment safe. We hope that these 3 examples inspire you to live more sustainably too! If you want to learn more about Japan and how we support sustainability, check out our other articles here. And don’t forget to check our official accounts on Facebook , Instagram , and YouTube .