Japan Environmental Exchange

Small is beautiful
Let's draw cartoons about stopping garbage

Writer: Daniel Meier from Switzerland, a friend of JEE member, traveling in Japan during this summer.

On a summer trip crossing Japan the writer attended a workshop called “Lets' draw cartoons about stopping garbage" at Kyoto University.
The event was organized by Japan Environmental Exchange (JEE) in collaboration with Kyoto University. JEE is a non-profit organization dedicated to environmental education, peace-work and international exchanges between people working for the environment.
The participants were introduced by Mr. Hiroshi Takatsuki, professor for environmental issues and well known as freelance cartoonist “High Moon“. Referring his comics he explained to the mixed audience (children, students and parents) environmental problems regarding waste and CO2-emission. It was fascinating to observe, how he managed with his own humor, despite to the complexity of the topic, to give a profound and stunning introduction to the audience.
In the practical part of the workshop young & old took the markers and painted a manga (Japanese comic) with an environmental topic and presented it to the group afterwards.
We swiss participants outlined a comparison about different heating temperatures and systems (wood against oil) and its environmental effects.
As the climate in Switzerland is colder than in Kyoto (Average is 0 degree during the winter), most houses have heating systems, which heat water. The hot water is being distributed inside the house with the help of tubes and radiators. The water can be heated by different technologies. The most famous are oil, gas and wood. As wood is a renewable and sustainable energy and most important CO2 neutral, the swiss government should promote the use of wood and ecological
heating systems more. In Switzerland there are recommendations for energy standards for new built houses called Minergy, but this is still not sufficient in our opinion.
For Kyoto inhabitants a surprising discovery, as Kyoto is known for its humid and warm climate and there for no heating systems are installed. The main problem is more the intensive use of high electricity consuming air conditioning systems.
At Kyoto the CO2 protocol was created, also signed by the swiss government.
The writers experience is, that also here in Kyoto fascinating teaching methods were created to make people more aware about environmental issues.