There was a workshop on the environment in Meito-Shogai-Gakusyu Center (Meito Lifelong Learning Center) the other day, and I took part in it. Meito is the name of the area where I live in.
At the work shop, there were about a dozen participants and we looked back the past and considered what to do, or what to get rid or and to save for our future.
The workshop was for members of Meito-Shizen-Club (Meito Nature Club) and I sometimes join them. The participants this time were really variety: young mothers, grandmothers, housewives without kids, and university students.
We formed ourselves in groups of four or five and made a list: what the society, the environment, people’s lives were like about 30 years ago, 20 years ago, 10 years ago, and lately. And then each person gave their views for the future.
In recent years lifeline or roads have been completed and the town has been a wonderfully modern. People have been enjoying the convenient lives. Meanwhile, however, the environment has been destroyed.
Rivers have been surrounded by concrete for bank protection, resulting in disappearance of many creatures such as frogs and fireflies from rivers. Mountains, forests, and fields have changed to residential areas, and some scarcity birds and animals have vanished.
It may difficult to return extinguished things, but we can try to do something for our future. We should see recycling in a new light. The present recycling system doesn’t work well. Japanese used things are just exported to developing countries. Consumerism is the past. It’s not enough to separate garbage according to type. We should reduce the amount of garbage itself. We can promote planting trees in the building as well, etc.
One of the participants brought an interesting thing. It’s a furoshiki, or cloth wrapper. Furoshiki is a just square cloth. It can be used for many things. Look at the photos. Doesn’t it look like a fashionable bag? She takes the cloth with her when she goes shopping instead of getting some plastic bags at the shop. We can start with a small thing for our future.
Our opinions are to present to the office of Meito-ku. This year, the office is promoting a kind of administrative reform and collecting citizens’ opinions. After the discussion, the participants learned about the worlds’ issues over lunch. I had a beneficial time.