Friday, July 25, 2008

trying to save the planet

With the price of food items and gasoline at premium prices, we've been trying to cut corners here are there, while trying to do our part to save the planet.

Last Saturday, Satoshi went to sell some books for me at Book-Off. They used to take English books, but not anymore. (insert pouty face) I think Book-Off still has a location in Hawaii. The books I gave him to sell were Japanese books that were burdening my book shelf.

Selling 11 books, we got 650 yen (about US$6.50), not much, but at least the books will go to new homes and we have a little less clutter.

Another thing we have started doing is bringing our own water wherever we go. These bottles made by SIGG, a Swiss brand, are durable. Can you believe I saw someone actually throw one of these bottles out in their trash because the paint was a little nicked! How wasteful was that?

We've gotten our burnable garbage down to 20 liters per pick up day. Our burnable garbage gets picked up twice a week. Each person is allowed 10 liters per pick up.

I think they should do something about this dude though...he may be saving gasoline by not riding around in a car and shouting his issues, but he is noise pollution. I didn't think it was election time around here...

Anyway, we may not be totally "saving the planet", but doing a little is better than not at all.

Are you doing something to save the planet?

p.s. Remember I told you about making vanilla? Well, if you live in a place where the inside gets hotter or as hot as outside, like here, please put your vanilla into the refrig. I surfed the net and found out it should be kept in a dark, cool place. During the day, when we aren't at home, our apartment gets to about 36C (95F)!

p.p.s. Yesterday was Doyo no Ushi no Hi, the day when Japan eats unagi (eel) as a way to build stamina for the hot summer. This year, I put the kabayaki sauce on the rice, put the sliced unagi on top, some sliced tamagoyaki (rolled egg) & some sliced okra on top of was good!

Hope you have a great weekend!


genkitummy said...

great job doing your part! i recycle at my apartment but for some reason glass is not recycled at my apartment. :(

that's neat. japan has so many special days. "ocean" day and "eat eel" day.

K and S said...

I wonder why they don't do glass? Though our city doesn't do plastics, we have to take them to the market.

Sometimes, I think Japan has more holidays than the U.S., Genki!

Take care.

Lori said...

I thought that Ocean Day was my favorite Japanese holiday. But I was wrong...this Day when Japan eats unagi has to be it. I don't think anything can top this one for me.

At work I'm on the computer a lot creating lots of documents. So I'm big on recycling paper whenever I can.

Martin J Frid said...

Great ideas! Glass... Where I live they only accept glass bottles once a month.

OK, so I try to do my part, I clean them and bring them on the right day. 2 bags this month. EXCEPT! I didn't take off the metal screw caps on one or two wine bottles in one of the bags. By the end of the day, they had taken away all bags, including ONE of mine, and left the other one, with a little sticker: "please remove the metal screw caps".

Lesson learnt... I had to carry that bag back, and keep it for another month.

And, Kat is right, you can bring some stuff to your supermarket. They should have containers for things like milk packs, plastic food trays, and - glass bottles too (I hope).

Barbara said...

Every little bit helps Kat. We bike and walk as much as possible, rather than take the car. Our building recycles paper,plastics and glass. People also leave their magazines in the garage foyer for others to take and read. It is encouraging to read Japan is actively recycling.

K and S said...

our city does glass twice a month, but not plastics, Martin. all of our plastics (egg container & pet bottles) must go to the supermarket. No one in our city recycles the bento containers which I feel is not a good thing. I think if we create the waste we should recycle it too.

I'm glad you like the Unagi Day, Lori :) And it is good that you are recycling at the office!

Take care you two.

K and S said...

We do a lot of walking too, and I think it is great that your building has an area where you can share reading materials, Barbara. I think Japan could still do more with their wrapping of gifts and packaging of products should be given more thought to.

Take care.

bourgogne said...

we've been leaving the wasteful packaging at the stores to express that packaging sucks for the planet. it's all plastic! you are allowed to do this in france to the dismay of the employees. we really try to do as much as possible for the environment but it never seems like it's enough :(

K and S said...

I wish we could do that Bourgogne! You are right, it never seems like it is enough :(

Take care.

KirkK said...

Hi Kat - Very nice; both that you're doing your part for the environment...and that wonderful dish!

2kamuela47 said...

every little bit helps no matter what. Going Green benefits all. Have a great weekend!

Debinhawaii said...

You are so good! I need to be better about my trash. I recycle all the glass and plastic and I found out a few months ago that the Humane Society needs newspapers and towels so I have been dropping all my papers off there but could be much better. BTW--I have a similar blue Sigg on my desk at work. They are the best! Hope your stamina is built now!

K and S said...

Thanks Kirkk and Laura :)

Actually my SIGG is purple, came out blue when I snapped the photo, Deb :) Cool, we both have SIGGs too! Talk about melting over here! need more than eel, I think.

Take care everyone.

kikamz said...

hi kat, nice stuff you got here. it really is hot and HUMID these days.. and the days are longer. btw, we live in yokohama, and from where I came from, the Philippines, the days seem cooler.

thanks for the tip on book off. i've been wanting to sell some english books that's been cramming our shelves but i guess i'd have to find other shops who are willing to buy them. have a nice day!

Anonymous said...

Here in San Francisco, we recycle glass, paper and plastics. The city even provides bins for composting garden debris and leftover foods. Restaurants do the same with their leftover foods.

I love SIGG bottles for what they do for the environment, and also because they are so beautiful. They even have cute mini size ones for kids.

Kat, is the okra on top of the unagi raw? It looks like so in the picture; never had raw okra...

Enjoy reading your blog. Thanks!


K and S said...

Yes, Caroline, it is raw okra, during the summer the slimy-ness from the okra is also supposed to help give you strength to overcome the heat :) I think it is great what the restaurants do with their leftovers...not sure what is done in Japan.

Kikamz, I actually donated my english books to our city library and asked a friend who worked at an international university to donate some to their international room. Maybe you can find something in your area like this.

Take care you two.

Rowena said...

Yay for saving the planet Kat! We recycle everything that we can, and bring our own water bottles too when going out. So far the glass-bottled water for home consumption is working out fine. I hate seeing so much plastic floating around.

K and S said...

I don't like to see a lot of plastic either, Rowena. Hopefully more companies will re-think their packaging.

Take care.

beadexplorer said...

We should get rid off a couple of books, too. We make waste seperation and try to drive more economically ... But there is a lot more we could and should do, I know ...

K and S said...

Every little bit counts, Beadexplorer, keep it up!

Take care.