Andrew’s world in Japan

88en-_mg_8949_editAndrew Artist & researcher based in KL since 2009, passionately exploring thcreative process & connecting with other creative people.

Another Aspect Of Travel

As far as I can tell it does not matter where you turn, we have a major problem. Things have gotten out of hand. Sure, it may be we started well intentioned enough, unaware of the growing piles of items that will likely last longer than humans have already existed. The English language delivers a variable list of vocabulary dedicated to the description of what humans leave behind. And try as I might, adventure vacation or not, so many elements of our current urban existence work against me. I dare not turn around to see the tall old discarded bits and pieces of life.

Unfortunately, travel does little to make the situation any less of a potent reality. My contributions loom large. Enough flying long distances on airplanes, eating and drinking whatever suites my fancy, detergents from washing clothes, plastic bottles from water and drinks to fill several containers at least. It bothers me. It does.

88en-_mg_9207_edit_cropLooking for ways to recycle, pick up, get wrappers to a rubbage bin, this is all just a drop in the bucket. Well worth doing non-the less. Japan has a very organized and structured, albeit complicated for many foreigners, garbage collection system. Items are clearly and neatly separated into different clear plastic bags. I used to think cities in Japan left a lot of fishing nets in random locations until it fully dawned on me that they were for collecting rubbage. This feature has been incorporated in the urban environment. In Tokyo, bright blue or yellow mesh nets are as common a sight as rubbage bins or drinking fountains are in my hometown Portland.

Don’t get me wrong. The systems in much of the world are aware and doing a fantastic job managing our out of control ways. Dealing with our situation is like keeping a drunk violent alcoholic from acting out. Regardless, it is all catching up to us with lightening speed. I for one feel horrible about it. Where does all this ‘stuff’ go after the collection?

88en-_mg_8875_editI’ve heard tell of country size gatherings of plastics in the oceans. Mountains of plastics from all over the world sent to India. While I toured in Baja California, I distinctly remember a long stretch of land filled with plastic. It was at least 30 minutes of riding through a valley of plastic bags and other garbage along the highway south to La Paz. Just a glimpse of possibility keeps the gears turning with scientific discoveries like biologist Yoshinori Ohsumi who just this past October was awarded a Nobel Prize in medicine for his discoveries on how cells break down and recycle content, a garbage disposal system that scientists hope to harness in the fight against cancer, Alzheimers and other diseases.” (AP).

There’s a bit more I’d like to delve into. Part of travel, exploration and living is awareness. With this comes an appreciation for our surroundings and how what we do impacts this magnificent planet we have the privilege to reside in. Stay alert and vigilant in regards to all the tear away from our life.