Friday, September 03, 2010


I know I have written about this before, but yet again today I was amazed at Japan's amazing attempts to reduce the amount of rubbish it produces annually. I have to admit they are doing a great job in terms of reducing shopping bags. Most people now take their own bags to the supermarket or are charged a token 5 yen for any that they need. Unfortunately this environmental consciousness hasn't reached as far as the gift giving custom. Today my husband arrived home with two presents for me - he had asked someone to give an envelope of money on his behalf at two different funerals and was therefore given a "funeral bag" in return. One of today's "presents" was a very small facecloth and three single packets of washing powder. Without even commenting on the amount of rubbish that is produced by the single packets of washing powder.... the wrapping that came with it was pretty incredible. I know I should be used to it by now, but.... considering how many funerals there are in Japan and how many people go to them they could probably save a zillion tonnes of rubbish a year simply by removing even one layer of this rubbish. Of course you get another gift if you go to the wake too.....

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