view the virtual ribbon around the earth at

Monday, February 25, 2008

More true cost thinking

In an earlier post, I lamented the difficulty of accurately assessing the true environmental cost of most things, and how tricky that made choosing between options when faced with decisions such as paper or plastic, real or fake Christmas tree, new hybrid car or existing relatively-good mileage vehicle, organic or conventional mattress, and so on.

This week's New Yorker has a very interesting article taking on the challenges of that broad view. Big Foot (a reference to the carbon footprint), by Michael Specter, is available online, and worth a read.

He starts out looking at various companies' efforts to green up, dives into the heart of food miles, points out how carbon shouldn't be the only part of an environmental calculation, offers some surprising examples in which products imported from far away are lower impact than those produced closer by (for instance, wine from California versus from Bordeaux and roses from Holland versus Kenya), and explores the world of carbon emissions exchange markets. I haven't yet finished the article, but right now he's writing about how one of the most effective things we could possibly to is to slow or stop deforestation in Brazil and Indonesia.

It's a good read, and one that, three-quarters of the way through the article, I recommend highly. Now I'm off to finish reading.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

EWC Eco Panel Exhibition

A former student of mine who is currently a lecturer and researcher in one of the local university in Malaysia had informed me regarding on this Earth Watching Club Eco Panel Exhibition that will be held in Japan early March. My school is thrilled to participate in the exhibition and I thought it's good to spread the news to all. We have two more weeks in sending materials to be part of it. And to those who interested, there's time! It can be anything that you had contributed towards conserving mother nature.

These are some of the photos of the exhibition that was held last year. May these photos and the details below be a great help.


Earth Watching Club Eco Panel Exhibition

Earth Watching Club (EWC) is a community-based environmental learning project funded by the city of Nishinomiya, Japan. There are 29,000 Japanese schoolchildren who are participating. We carry out many kinds of "Eco-Actions" on a daily basis to make our community a better place to live not just for ourselves, but for all the people and creatures on Earth - and especially for the generations to come. We know our planet is filled with like-minded young people who care about our environment, cultures, peace and future.

This is an annual exhibition providing young people with the opportunity, both from Japan and abroad, to present their opinions, research, projects and activities on local and global environmental issues. We receive so many exciting works every year from Japan and abroad, ranging from tiny, little craftworks to wall-size presentations on various environmental projects. We treat each and every works equally and display all of them at the gallery. So, let's share our visions, and make our voices heard!

Please introduce your thoughts, ideas, and activities related to your local environmental/ sustainable issues in this year. What happened concerning the environment in your community this year? What kinds of activities did you enjoy doing? Air Pollution, Climate Change, Human Rights, Water, Biodiversity, Nature Conservation, Food, Peace, Waste and Recycling and so on... Please send in any project, research, artwork, activity or study report YOU THINK is related to local and global environmental/sustainability issues that interested you most this year.

WHO can apply? --- All Earth Lovers!
Any group or individual who is involved in studies or activities related to ecological and environmental issues is invited to take part in this exhibition. NO AGE LIMIT, either. As long as you consider yourself to be a youth member of your community, you are all welcome!

WHAT is the project size and medium? --- Be Creative!
Participants are free to choose any medium they wish to use for their presentations. Some ideas you might try are... wall-size newspaper, photography, video, drama, handicraft, drawing, newsletter, poster, written composition...Create your presentation in any medium that suits your ideas and imagination! There is only one limitation, though; language... All works will kindly be presented in English or Japanese. If you are submitting your works in any other language, please provide us with easy English (or Japanese) translation.

WHEN to submit? --- No later than February, 2008!
Your work will be translated into Japanese by our citizen volunteer translators for presentation. In order to give us enough time for the translation job, please send in your works as early as possible. Mark the date on your calendar so you won't miss it!

WHERE to submit?
Please send your works by post, fax, or e-mail to the address below:

EWC (Earth Watching Club)
c/o LEAF office
1-8-1 Kofuen, Nishinomiya Shi, Hyogo Prefecture
662-0832 JAPAN
Telephone and fax: +81-798-69-1185

The Eco-Panel Exhibition is interactive!
You will receive comments and messages from the visitors at the Exhibition! All the visitors at the Exhibition will have a chance to let you know what they thought and felt about your works. They will make comments and write messages to you at the message corner. We will translate all the messages into English and send them to you.

Your participation will be recognized with a Letter of Appreciation from the Mayor of Nishinomiya City (declared as the Environmental Learning City of Japan), together with a Small Token from EWC, as well as Messages from Visitors at the Eco-Panel Exhibition!! Please note that your works will not be returned and will remain in the organizer archive.

[For Your Information]
A brief introduction of ourselves, LEAF..Through the initiative of Nishinomiya City, Learning and Ecological Activities Foundation for Children (LEAF) was established in 1998 as an organization based on partnership among citizens, businesses and the municipal government. Earth Watching Club (EWC) is managed under this foundation. Our aim is to contribute to the development of a sustainable society by initiating community-based environmental learning activities at schools and in local communities, in liaison with various civic groups, corporations and government agencies. We hope our activities will target a wide range of citizens with a focus on youths and children, to raise the global citizens who act responsibly towards the global environment.

1-8-1 Kofuen, Nishinomiya City, Hyogo
662-0832 JAPAN
TEL: +81-798-69-1185
FAX: +81-798-69-1186