Over four in five Japanese are regularly penny-pinching

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@nifty recently published a survey looking at economising and ecology.

My home air conditioners make me worry about both economising and ecology; my wife runs them about one or two degrees too cold for me, and I hate to think how much they are chewing up in terms of both electricty bill and general environmental impact with respect to not just CO2 from the electricity generated, but also pumping out warm air into the atmosphere.

Here’s a rather glum-looking eco pig assaulting a little kid:

Earth Day Tokyo 2010
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Had enough of your eco lifestyle?

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$chart->addPoint(new Point(“Often”, 10.2));
$chart->addPoint(new Point(“Sometimes”, 45.4));
$chart->addPoint(new Point(“Never”, 44.4));

$chart->render(“/home/kenyn/public_html/image10/eco-tire.png”);
?>
Do you tire of everyday eco activities? graph of japanese statisticsThat was the question posed by iShare in this survey into being tired of eco life. Note that eco here refers to both ecology and economising.

Demographics

Over the 10th and 11th of November 2010 1,509 members of the CLUB BBQ free email forwarding service completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 53.9% of the sample were male, 16.2% in their twenties, 32.7% in their thirties, 37.6% in their forties, and 13.5% in their fifties. Furthermore, all of them lived within one of the cities of Tokyo, Kanagawa, Chiba, Saitama, Osaka, Kyoto or Kobe.

I’m definitely fed up hearing about eco, and I’m dreading the day that they tell us that we should unplug out phone rechargers at work before we go home at night. I worked out that at an average hourly rate it actually costs more money to bend under the desk and spend 10 seconds plugging and unplugging versus the bleed from an average charger.
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Paper book covers should be sacrificed for the environment

A recent survey from goo Ranking looked at what people thought it would be best to get rid of for the environment’s sake.

Demographics

Between the 23rd and 25th of March 2010 1,128 members of the goo Research monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 50.5% of the sample were female, 15.1% in their teens, 16.9% in their twenties, 28.8% in their thirties, 21.1% in their forties, 9.4% in their fifties, and 8.7% aged sixty or older. Note that the score in the results refers to the relative number of votes for each option, not a percentage of the total sample.

Most bookshops in Japan wrap your book (after asking you) in a simple paper cover. I think it’s quite a good idea myself, and it’s just a cheap sheet of brown paper usually with the bookstore’s logo, so the cost and environmental load must be pretty low. Getting rid of disposable chopsticks is a good way for a restaurant to advertise its green credentials, but I don’t think it’s really that positive an action, as reusable chopsticks need to be washed, and of course take more resources to make.

Just last week my wife told me that she’d seen on the television some program saying it was more green to drink milk straight out of the pack, rather than using a straw or pouring in into a cup, which is of course correct, but that seems so trivial a point in the great scheme of things.
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Young married Japanese women and ecology

How will an ecological lifestyle affect your family budget? graph of japanese statisticsRecently, goo Research, in conjuction with All About, looked at young married women and ecology and lifestyle.

Demographics

Between the 3rd and 5th of July 2008 1,039 married women from the goo Research online monitor panel successfully completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 100% of the sample was female, of course, 33.3% in their twenties, 32.6% in their thirties, and 34.1% in their forties. 38.4% were full-time employees, 11.4% contract or dispatch staff, and 50.2% were full-time housewives. I don’t know why no part-timers or students were in the sample.

A recent story from the New York Times misrepresented the situation regarding energy consumption of heated toilets, but thinking about the situation more and seeing a couple of much more efficient European products, I realised the biggest domestic energy saving that can be made with little alteration to the average Japanese person’s lifestyle is to replace the hot water pot with some of the newer types of kettle.

I was going to post something describing the relative power consumptions, but it’s really difficult to get figures for kettles in sensible units – all I got was stuff like “If everyone boiled only the water they needed to make a cup of tea instead of filling the kettle every time, we could save enough electricity in a year to power the UK’s street lights for nearly 7 months. This is the equivalent of the electricity used by 300,000 households for a year or output of a typical power station for nearly 5 months.” If these figures weren’t incomprehensible enough, it said the above would save “enough CO2 to fill Big Ben tower more than 50,000 times.”

Just how much CO2 is 50,000 Big Ben’s worth?
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Japan and South Korea and ecology

(Korea) How interested are you in environmental issues? graph of japanese statisticsThis interesting recent report from Nippon Research Council, conducted in conjunction with Gallop Korea, looked into the degree of interest in environmental issues in South Korea and Japan.

Demographics

For Japan, between the 7th and 19th of November 2007 1,200 people were selected at random, weighted by region, from a database of households, and were interviewed both face to face and had questionnaires left to fill in. 50.4% of the sample were female, and the ages were distributed between 15 and 79 years old. For South Korea, between the 12th and 26th of June 2008 1,510 people were selected at random, weighted by region, sex and age, and were interviewed face to face. 50.6% of the sample were female, and the ages of those sampled were 19 or older.

I wish I knew more about South Korea to know how best to interpret the results. For instance, in Q2 only 5% of Koreans recycling their bathwater for use by their washing machines, but is this due to showering being more popular in Korea? Similarly, in Q1SQ Koreans are much more aware of fresh water pollution. Why?
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MOTTAINAI! Campaigning going to waste?

Do you know Wangari Maathai? graph of japanese opinionAnother survey that MyVoice performed at the start of July was on environmental issues and MOTTAINAI. 12,326 members of their MyVoice monitor community successfully completed a private internet questionnaire; 54% of the sample was female, 3% in their teens, 22% in their twenties, 39% in their thirties, 24% in their forties, and 12% in their fifties.

MOTTAINAI, or to translate, “what a waste”, is a Japanese word cleverly adopted by Wangari Muta Maathai and her Greenbelt Movement, and clumsily, in my opinion, adopted by Japanese businesses in order to flog more tat or to appear green. It may be worth pointing out that another environmental campaign, Cool Biz, has, I fear, dropped out of the public awareness as a real measure, and has become merely lipservice towards environmentalism. One of the train companies I use during my commute, for instance, said in their fortnightly free paper that the company would be supporting Cool Biz by setting the air conditioner to 26°C in most carriages, and 27°C in the lightly air-conditioned carriages. However, it’s cold enough most mornings and evenings to give me goose-pimples in shirt sleeves, and in fact last weekend I checked an in-carriage thermometer and it was reading 20°C in the lightly air-conditioned carriage. MOTTAINAI indeed!
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