From Japan: Makower, Wallpaper, and Strawberries


One of our favorite cleantech insider Joel Makower has come back from Japan with very interesting observations. It seems that the US is not the only country where the government does not have a strong mandate to create strong policies for climate. Political gridlock pervades here as well.
There was much discussion about how to achieve the green vision of Hatoyama, the first prime minister who seems to “get it,” when it comes to the economic potential of cleantech and a green economy, but whose vision is thwarted by the legislature.
Makower also observes that Japanese business leaders struggle with motivating their employees to engage in greener practices and express frustration in Japanese consumers’ willingness to buy green products.”
Wall papers

One of the best examples of sustainable consumption through clean technologies I’ve seen is recycling milk cartons into wallpaper. The folks at EcoTwaza bring us Mr. Matsuzaki who developed this procedure:
As a result of long hours of research, he came up with a material that uses nothing other than plant starch (methylcellulose), recycled pulp, food preservatives, color-providing earth, and water. And the pulp is all hand-made by the residents at the institution for the disabled.
It is quite inspiring to see how sustainable technologies can also support jobs and increase social value. I had a chance to touch the sample wallpaper and it feels very durable.

I always thought that strawberries were a summer fruit but they happen to be in season these days. The folks at JFS report on new, energy efficient to grow this treat:
The new system utilizes clean energies such as underground water or exhaust heat from air-conditioners to keep the temperature surrounding the strawberry crowns between 15 and 23 degrees Celsius. The system contributes to reduced carbon dioxide emissions.
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