17 December, 2008

Never so easy

It's sometimes difficult to be upbeat about the future of our planet with the daily stream of eco-related stories and reports that indicate the continuing decline of the earth's environment. I've recently given this some thought however, and decided to pay more attention to the positive stories and items that I come across. Yes, it's necessary to be aware of the (often depressing) facts to gain an awareness and appreciation of the need for change and action, but surely, once one reaches a certain level of awareness, it would seem healthier and probably more productive in terms of motivation, to focus on the positive news.

Anyway, this train of thought led to this entry. Recently, the number of products and services available in Japan to the ethical consumer appear to be on the rise.  In addition to the niche products and services which have for sometime now have been out there on the internet, more mainstream and visible products are starting to surface. Here are a few of those.

Carbon-free nengajo (new year's cards). These can be bought at post offices and for an extra 5yen a fund is collected to offset the carbon used in the production, and possibly delivery of the card. Last year 38,000 tonnes of CO2 were offset with these cards.

Organic wines now seem to be much easier to find. These include wines from Cono Sur which has gone one step further towards reducing its environmental impacts by using carbon neutral delivery. Look for the bicycle on the label if your interested in this wine. Available at Liquor Mountain.

It is also encouraging to see the growth of the fair trade goods from places such as Sisam, which has an ethical interior shop East of Hyakumanben, on Imadegawa, Kyoto, and People Tree, a long established fair trade outlet.

Other ethical and eco-friendly shopping links can be found here and should expand during 2009 

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