It’s the Little Things in Life
For us, being Eco-friendly is about the little things. Every day we engage in hundreds of small tasks and interactions. If we all do our part to make each and every interaction as Eco-friendly as possible, the world will be an [environmentally] better place. A friend asked me to share this story, though it may seem a simple thing, to us it is of greatest importance.
Usually, we make a lunch box at home and take it to work. This is both the cheapest and most Eco-friendly method for our workday lunches. On days when this is not possible, we often go to local shops for our lunch. One thing we always do is carry our own chopsticks with us. Some shops approve, others don’t. We try our best to go to shops which use re-usable chopsticks and flatware.
One shop near our English conversation school in Otsu is a small take-out seafood rice bowl shop, which opened about a year ago. At first we accepted the plastic take-out container with lid, plastic bag, disposable chopsticks and wet-nap. After going a few times, we asked to not be given a bag, chopsticks or wet-nap. The owner was happy to comply. He even started offering us a free pack of soup each time as we were saving him money. Next we asked him to skip the little plastic divider which is usually used to separate the spicy wasabi from the rice. Next we asked for no lid. At this point the only garbage was the plastic take-out bowl. We asked if we could bring our own, equivalent sized bowl. The owners said “Yes, no problem”.
We are now able to get a completely waste-free take-out lunch. No plastic. No garbage. It’s such a small thing, but for us it’s these small things which make all the difference.
As much as possible we try to be earth-aware and are committed to the Sustainability Development Goals. It isn’t difficult, it just requires a shift in thinking. Being aware of the little changes we can make in our daily lives. Thinking about our own impact on the environment. Taking little steps to adjust our actions. Anyone can do it. Everyone should. Good luck!
Edward, Smith’s School of English Otsu