Have you heard of the phrase “eco-action”? “Eco” comes from the word “ecology.” It means “to be mindful of the environment” with the aim of creating a world in which the daily lives of people―who share this planet with all other living beings―and nature are in harmony. So “eco-action” refers to activities that are tied to the protection and preservation of the Earth’s environment.
The word “action” may sound like something hard. But it’s enough to do an activity that is already familiar to you or that takes little effort. Participating in Panasonic's “AKARI Action Together” program, which began in March 2018, could be a good way to start taking eco-action. Writing down your eco-actions in an Eco Picture Diary can help you apply them in your independent research project (jiyu kenkyu) in school!
Did you know that 1 in 6 people in the world―about 1.1 billion people―live without electricity?
Panasonic wanted to improve this situation, so it started its “100 Thousand Solar Lanterns Project” to bring light to people living in areas without electricity.
So far, the project has donated more than 100,000 solar lanterns. “AKARI Action Together” was launched as an additional project to further expand the scope of donations.
One way of participating in AKARI Action Together is by donating money. But another easy way is to collect five or more books, CDs, or games that you no longer need and have them picked up by making a single phone call.
We must protect our planet’s environment to create a future in which we can live without worry. However, the reality is that we are harming the environment as we seek greater convenience in our lives. The water, soil, and air are getting more polluted, and abnormal weather is occurring...
We must change this reality as soon as possible! And that’s why we must adopt thinking and behaviors that help improve the environment.
Here are some ways you can help protect and preserve the global environment.
Light is essential in our daily lives. But we need more than just light―we must also have the electricity that produces light. However, the main resources for generating electricity (such as oil, charcoal, and natural gas) are limited. This makes it very important to save electricity.
● Turn off lights whenever you don’t need them.
● Don’t leave the TV on when no one is watching it.
● Grow bitter gourds (goya) and other such plants to make “green curtains” and use air conditioners sparingly.
● Switch to LED lights.
● Eat vegetables that you grew in your own garden.
People and other living things need water every day. Although we use and drink water without really thinking about it, there is a limit to how much is available. So do your best not to waste it.
● Don’t leave the water running.
● Use leftover bath water to do laundry.
● When showering, turn off the water when you don’t need it (such as when you’re not rinsing your body).
It is very important to keep the environment comfortable for us to live in by not polluting it. A good way of doing this is to separate and recycle trash so that resources can be used effectively.
●Pick up trash and think of ways to reduce the trash you produce to keep the environment clean.
● Carry a reusable bag instead of getting plastic bags when shopping.
(This saves oil resources because oil is used to make plastic bags. It also reduces the CO2 that is generated when plastic bags are incinerated.)
● Don’t buy or make too much food. And don’t leave food uneaten.
● Sort and dispose of your trash in ways that make recycling easier.
(Recyclable trash includes plastic bottles, empty cans, empty bottles, and old newspapers and magazines)
Producing electricity through thermal power generation (i.e., by burning oil, coal, natural gas, and the like) emits carbon dioxide (CO2). CO2 acts as a greenhouse gas “blanket” that traps heat from the Earth that would normally be released into space. This is what causes global warming. So avoiding and/or reducing our use of thermal power generation a very good idea.
Save electricity as a way of reducing CO2 emitted by thermal power generation.
● Save energy in the ways described under “Save AKARI (light)” above.
Plant and grow trees to increase vegetation that absorbs CO2 and releases oxygen.
● Water trees and flowers.
● Plant seeds.
● Stop using disposable chopsticks and reduce the amount of paper you use so that fewer trees are cut down.
These examples can give you some ideas if you’re not sure what to write about.
This person found a lot of litter lying around the entrance of her apartment building, so she made an amusing trash can to put there. And the amount of litter decreased! Now that’s a good idea! (Russia)
This person noticed that there was trash lying around where people like to relax in the park. So she brought it home with her and put it in the garbage. And this made the park more pleasant for everybody.(Ukraine)
This person found out that bags, fashion accessories, and even houses can be made from sorted recyclables. Recycling is really cool! (Brazil)
This person did the watering for her grandmother, who loves flowers. Plants absorb CO2 and produce oxygen, so by watering the plants, she helped reduce CO2. (Japan)
Do you see what eco-action is all about?
Why not do a little investigating and take action yourself!
And then write about your activities in an Eco Picture Diary!
If you are serious about it and put in the effort, your diary can be a useful part of your independent research project in school.
Give it your best shot!