Learn from the Past

In a recent article, the SF Chronicle explains how modern folks trying to live a green lifestyle can learn from the experiences of ancient Japan:

Some 200 years ago, a community in Japan faced many of the same problems that confront us today – shortages of energy, water, materials and food along with overpopulation. And the thoughtful solutions devised by the 30 million people who lived in what is now the city of Tokyo during the late Edo period (1603-1868) provide practical inspiration for what might be achieved today.

Among the lessons to learn from Edo-era Japan include:

  • Micro-economies result in better service: Shop locally!
  • Show restraint: Buy only what you need (including housing)!
  • Think sustainable: Use natural cooling, renewable and recycled materials, gray-water systems, handcrafted home accessories.
  • Promote new ethical standards: Instead of feeling proud of overconsumption, we should feel embarrassed.
  • Create an urban farm: An edible garden reduces your carbon footprint, counteracts the urban heat-island effect and reconnects us to our locales.

Check out the article for the rest of the lessons — let’s learn from history!


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