LOCAL EXCURSION

An unplanned visit for a special surprise… Mori No Machi Echo Center

Have you ever wondered where your local water supply arrive from, how it get into your faucets? A local visit to your local recycle center will give you an explanation. How ironic but I often thought about those sewage trucks and drivers whose job is to collect our unwanted waste products from toilets. I finally had a first hand insight and to the answer to my question…

Collected sewage waste is delivered to a recycle center like the one in my photos(see photos in the gallery page) and treated with bacteria for 24 hours around the clock, then goes though a detailed purified process only to travel back as tap water. It is a surely an interesting magical process monitored by many computers and human beings.

For the last year or so I’ve driven past my local recycle center several times always thinking to myself I need to stop and investigate what’s there, I finally made that visit. It was after 5:00p.m. which meant on a Saturday it’s closing hours…

Not knowing what to expect I approached a gentleman outside the building only to ask about the recycle center visiting schedule. He was very generous to explain that the center was closed, he went further to ask the purpose of my visit. I clearly told him I was interested in learning about what takes place in the recycle center…

Then I said “thank you” I will visit again another day…

Surely, after hearing my reason for visiting the center Mr. Y was happy to offer a quick tour of the facilities. I was very fortunate to have a guided tour of two buildings. The first building happens to be a recycle center for trees… ever wonder where all those yearly trimmed tree branches in public parks actually goes after those yearly cuts or how those leafs quickly disappear? Leaving us the local residents sitting in a clean, well-kept relax environment? Well, visit your local recycle center to get your own answer if you prefer…

I highly recommend calling to make an appointment first for a group visit, just be sure not to go after visiting hours. Have a great visit you can experience the magic of the recycling process.

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Living The Super Cool Biz Life In Japan

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Living The Cool Biz Life In Japan

“Cool Biz” in summer 2010 is now “Super Cool Biz” in Japan. This campaign was advocated by the Japanese Ministry of the Environment, under the Koizumi cabinet. Rules for the “Cool Biz” image is refer to as “Super Cool Biz” campaign in 2011. Companies dress requirement are “No Ties, No Jackets, No Flip-Flops, for men, Yes to your ordinary sandals, Polo shirts, Hawaiian shirts… however, one or few companies might have their exception to the above rules so men might still be require to wear long sleeves because of the formality idea in business.

This summer living the “Super Cool Biz Life” in Japan may include various aspects to conserve energy in general, which is an excellent idea. We all need to be more pro-active citizens of Earth. Summer 2011 will be an exceptional experience in Japan, a result of the “Fukushima Nuclear Plant”crisis. In some areas, there will be electrical blackouts, elevators and escalators will be out of use. Concerned Japanese citizens and Foreign residents will be taking individual actions to curve energy usage. Already, many Japanese people and Foreign residents are taking careful steps to use less energy.

In local areas around Japan “Green Curtains” have become a regular part of people’s lifestyles’. These “Green Curtains” are usually created from various seedlings but the most popular is “Goya Green Curtains”. Green Curtains are made about 140 m at height of 2m. these leafy curtains works to successfully block-out sunlight and keep room temperature from rising.

In Japan, this is an effective way to fight “Global Warming”. In some areas, Goya seedlings were distributed by Environmental NGO/NPO’s at local recycling centers. In my city, this was the case a few years ago…
This distribution would often be at the beginning of May, usually during “Golden Week”, Goya seedlings are high commodity. Goya is not difficult to grow so seedlings are always hot to go…!

There are other alternatives plants to use for “Green Curtains” in case Goya is not available, Morning Glory flowers, and Cucumber plants are good substitutes. These are effective alternatives, meaning that these are plants which help to conserve energy by blocking out the sun’s ray and reducing the room temperature which results in less use of the air conditions.

Personal responsibility will play a much huge role in our lives: for example remembering/practicing always to turn off lights, unplugging electrical plugs if not in use…

Some people might even go out on the extreme of using Ice Packs (Ice don) as pillows to keep their body temperature down during the summer heat waves in Japan. Others will be buying or making their own Aluminum Sheets/UV cut curtains instead of “Green Curtains, Bed covers/ sheets which are made from materials specifically to keep the body temperature cool and summer Chimes , which always signal that there is a cool wind blowing will be largely on demand. There are many, many ways to join in the “Super Cool Biz” lifestyle this summer, the list is endless.

Though, for some people “Living the Cool Biz Life” in Japan might be parallel to the same rules of “Veganism”, taking personal responsibility isn’t a hopeless approach to conserving energy lifestyles. Knowing that personal effort contributes to create a world of changes is certainly positive aspects to living the “Super Cool Biz Life”.

Being mindful and flexible to these coming changes, this summer is advisable. There are certainly, talks of Japanese companies adding long break to the rules of “Cool Biz” campaign. Suggestions of an afternoon “Siestas” similar to those in Spanish countries are locally overheard in conversations around town. “Siestas” are not bad ideas, but such breaks would allow companies to have employees work later into the nights. Whether Japanese employers would realistically make such changes for their employees, this is not yet confirm. In any case, effective rules to save energy can always to be added to the present list, which would truly support the idea of “Super Cool Biz” campaign.

Some recommendations to adding new rules for “Super Cool Biz” campaign of 2011 are the following: Yes, to afternoon Siesta’s(long afternoon breaks) yes, to pocket fans(Uchiwa), Yes, to men carry UV umbrellas(parasols), yes, to carry personal container of water, yes, to personal size of survival kits…

Living the “Super Cool Biz Life” in Japan might be challenging for everyone, whether you are a male or female but placing Mother Nature first and conserving energy in summer 2011 should be on everyone’s agenda in Japan. Plus, this summer “Super Cool Biz” campaign is not limiting to just males nor females but open to the general public. We all feel the heat when it get’s hot.

Author: CAC

6/12/11

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