Earth Day Around the World: Tokyo

Posted by adrian.bailon & filed under Environment.

Esther Frid holds "El Atardecer de la Vida," a book she wrote about the stories of seven senior Latin American women living in Canada

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While Canadians celebrate Earth Day 2010 with various events to help promote the importance of conservationism and sustainability. As a global community, it’s important to also take note of the various other events being held worldwide for Earth Day.

Take Tokyo, for instance. When we think of Tokyo, we usually think of technology, anime and manga, and random crazy game shows – but did you know that last year’s Earth Day Tokyo festival was actually the largest Earth Day festival in the world? There were an estimated 130,000 people who attended Earth Day Tokyo festivities which started off at Yoyogi Park in Shibuya.

“Earth Day is the place for very serious people to get together and talk about any subject on the planet, but also a lot of fun and good food,” novelist and environmentalist C.W. Nicol, the chairman of the Earth Day Tokyo 2009 Committee, told The Japan Times. “And it’s not a protest. It’s a celebration. If it was a protest I would not have anything to do with it.”

Much like previous years, this year’s Earth Day Tokyo – held last week from April 17-18 – featured music through acoustic instruments, locally-grown organic foods for sale (patrons will need to pay an extra 50 yen to ‘rent’ reusable dishes), and various talks and presentations on a stage powered by solar generated electricity.

Environmental sustainability is a huge concern for many of Japan’s younger generations, and there are many year-round events and practices that are going on in the country. Check out Greenz.jp, a website presenting “creative ideas for sustainability, daily from Japan,” for a glimpse of some of the interesting green activities the Japanese are doing. Sustainability is not just a new, radical Western concept, and we here in Canada need to recognize the efforts that are happening all over the world to feel like we are not alone in shaping the future of the environment.

With that said, let’s all try to get involved – not just for Earth Day, but all year round. If you’re not sure how to get started, David Suzuki‘s website would probably be the place to point you in the right direction. Happy Earth Day, Canada!

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