Oct 5, 2018

Let‘s follow the Japanese eco lifestyle: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!

Japan is a country, which thinks and lives ECO-style. Now, I understand how important it is to handle our gentle nature and try to reduce human being's influence on natural processes.

Japanese people do many things to keep the environment clean and safe. Only after coming to this country, did I understand the importance of sorting garbage.

I come from Russia and there people generally dispose of all their garbage together: plastic, glass, organic products and so on. That said, nowadays Russian thinking regarding ecology is changing and in big cities like Moscow and Saint Petersburg, they set special bins to separate garbage. Little by little, Russia then will also raise its 'eco' standards.  It will take some time, but the process has just begun.

Let‘s follow the Japanese eco lifestyle: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle! photo

So several years ago for me it was normal to dispose of everything into a bin without sorting and cleaning.

Then I came to Japan and when I found the announcement about sorting out garbage and got to know that I could get rid of plastic garbage only once a week I was extremely surprised.

For several weeks, I had to get used to the 'sorting system.' It was very hard to see plastic garbage in a specially prepared bag standing for the whole week in the corridor waiting for the day when I could finally throw it away. The same situation was with bins and cartons, and some other items of garbage.

Let‘s follow the Japanese eco lifestyle: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle! photo

When I was buying something in supermarkets I began to think about how and when I could dispose of the packaging.  My way of thinking was changing; I started thinking more thoroughly before buying something, paying more attention to the food's packaging.

One day, being a student of a Japanese language school in Tokyo, our class went for an excursion to the Shinjuku Recycle Center. There I learnt what they do with the plastic and glass garbage and understood the importance of sorting it.

I got to know that they recycle and reuse some garbage in other spheres of life. For example, they make sparkle powder from glass and put it on the surface of the asphalt used to make roads to make them more visible in the darkness.

From the lectures and explanations I came to understand how important it is to reduce paper consumption by using both sides when printing documents, to wash plastic properly before disposing it, and much more.

By the way, eco style is not only about saving nature but also about saving money. Just remember when you go to supermarket you probably often forget “my bag” and buy a plastic one at the cashier. I agree, the cost of a plastic bag is tiny but if you go to supermarket almost every day and buy a plastic bag 5-7 times a week?! Actually many people go to supermarket every day and if all of these people buy plastic bags, the amount of plastic garbage will become catastrophic. However, if you don't use a new plastic bag there is no need to dispose of it.

Plastic is very bad for ecology but by using a “my bag”, we can help to reduce the process of recycling the plastic bags and save money at the same time.

The same can be said of disposable chopsticks.  Generally, in Japan, we eat three times a day, so may be it could be cheaper and kinder on nature to use “my chopsticks” which can be reused after washing.

In Japan I have noticed lots of shampoo, soap refills called called 詰め替え (tsumekae) which are also a part of the policy to be eco friendly. And again this soft package refill is cheaper so you can save your money.

Japanese people do smart things as they are guided by the 3R rule that goes: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!

In my opinion, in order to save the eco system of our planet everybody should follow this rule and always think about the consequences of their actions.

Japan has changed my way of thinking, may be it will also change yours!

Let‘s follow the Japanese eco lifestyle: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle! photo



Hello everyone, how do you do!? I love Japan, full of green landscapes and flowers blossoming all year round. I would like to tell everyone about its interesting places, tasty food, beautiful beaches, and I hope that readers will find my articles useful.