Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Tokyo residents still "yellow"?

Sorry for the poor joke in the title, hope noone takes offence, but the "green" trend here in Japan obviously needs to be backed up with action - and education.

What Hakuhodo has found is that more than 40% of Tokyo residents "don't want to sacrifice a convenient lifestyle to prevent global warming." Hakuhodo calls this the "Eco Dilemma" 1)

Hakuhodo is a large advertising agency that also looks at lifestyles. The report is in Japanese, called Research News 「世界8都市・環境生活調査」 2) and I do hope they will translate it to other languages soon.

AFP/Yahoo has more details:

In a list of 27 daily activities considered to counter global warming, from taking only short showers to participating in tree-planting activities, Tokyo residents only scored above average for five of them. In particular, Tokyo dwellers came last when it comes to studying about global warming or preserving the environment.

They also ranked lowest when it comes to buying eco-friendly products and scored below average for using clean energy, biomass, solar or wind energy.

However, the poll showed that nearly 90 percent of Tokyo residents feel threatened by global warming. They also came tops in responding that "environmental protection is more important than economic growth."

Tokyo residents "have the dilemma of not wanting to give up a convenient lifestyle that they've had for years," Hakuhodo said.

Or maybe Tokyo residents are just more honest?

(Hat tip to Kat for alerting me to this article, map from this website with lots of cool facts about real estate in Tokyo, and for those of you looking for eco village projects in Tokyo, Treehugger wrote about the 2007 Tokyo EcoVillage Conference here - and the 2 photos I found after searching for the key word エコビレッジ 3) on google picture: Seems a company called Home Plaza. Inc is now making it possible for you, dear reader, to find that environmentally friendly mansion you have always dreamed of, complete with butterflies and big trees...)


1) Eco Dilemma (エコジレンマ) is a new term, as lifestyle changes indeed are never easy, but I'm also surprised how fast this Hakuhodo-created katakana term has entered the vocabulary of Yomiuri Shinbun (May 19), and then lots of blogs pick it up...

2) Kankyou Seikatsu (
環境生活) means "environmental living" or "green lifestyle"

3) Eco Village (エコビレッジ) has a more down-to-earth nuance in English, inspired by vegetarianism and biodynamic philosophy, or shall I say a more Edo Era style of living?


Isis said...

Like smokers won't give up cigarettes even as they lay dying of emphysema or cancer, or the alcoholic who gets a liver transplant only to go back to drinking.

Is the "convenient lifestyle" also an addiction? It would seem so if people are willing to cause such widespread destruction to maintain it.

Perhaps if people got to try a more relaxed, natural life for a while, they would find out it isn't really "convenient" after all and a happier, healthier life is available to them.

Recovery centers for modern civilization addicts?

Pandabonium said...

The way things are going with resource depletion - especially oil these days - they will be living a more "down to earth" lifestyle soon anyway. Whether they want to or not. It will be a rude awakening.

Martin J Frid said...

Thanks for the comments.

I liked how they used the butterfly to sell their concrete building to prospective "Eco village" consumers. Actually, all you need is a few pots with herbs, and the butterflies will come - and this is the amazing part - ALL BY THEMSELVES!

Nature is magic.

Pandabonium said...