Green news and events from Japan.

Plastic Bag No Pants Takes on Hello Kitty for Eco Fame


Hello Kitty, the ubiquitous Japanese icon, is facing some competition from a plastic bag.

Charles Ward, an English transplant in Japan, calls it Fukuro-Chan, and it’s much more lovable than you might imagine.

The Ward-created character looks like a colorless, pantless SpongeBob, and tells kids about ways to waste less, as in not using plastic bags, reusing, recycling and the like.

I think. It’s all in Japanese, and my Japanese is rusty, as in I-don’t-speak-a-word.

The character was reportedly inspired by all the plastic bag waste that Ward saw in Japan. Did he have to go that far to find it?

The character has appeared in comic strips and films, like this one.

The song here sounds like a Japanese version of  “La Cucaracha.” The cockroach to crush is unnecessary waste from plastic bags and other disposable items, including wooden chopsticks. Fukuro-chan means “plastic bag.”

Any kid, anywhere is bound to get the message. It’s almost better that the words are lost on English speakers. “Fun” is one English word shown in the video. Climate change also is shown to melt plastic bags.

Do you get it? Let us know in the comments below. Maybe Fukuro-chan is too cute for his own good?

Via: Dothegreenthing.

Tokyo’s Spinning Streetlights

panasonic_spinning_streetlight-450-x-589.jpgInstalled at Tokyo’s Panasonic Center, these solar and wind powered streetlights are found around the building generating renewable power. Solar cells placed on top charge during the clear day hours while the turbines generate power and store in a battery located at its base. During the night hours the battery is used to power the streetlights, including the turbine which continues to spin in the dark.

You can view the short video here at the hyperexperience.com site. They look pretty cool.

Saving the Environment with Portable Toilets


A popular destination in Japan has begun receiving the first biotoilets for Mount Fuji by the non-profit organization Fujisan Club. Over 300,000 people visit the mountain annually and until the year 2000, the toilet contents were emptied down a part of the mountain.

The new biotoilets called Bianics Toilets utilize bacteria to decompose the human waste into a non-foul odor mix of water, carbon dioxide and other compounds. Decomposition begins when water is added to the waste, goes through a bacteria layer to catalyze the process, and finally goes through cedar chips for final decomposition leaving behind just CO2 and water.

Keeping up with being eco-friendly and retaining a less messy process, Mount Fuji expects to setup a seventh station prior to the next climbing season.