Being Eco-conscious: The Japanese way

Culture plays an important role in shaping our behavior as an individual and society. It also plays a crucial role while analyzing the behavior of any particular society with regard to sustainability. The cultural values that have been imbibed for centuries craft the sustainability-hostile or sustainability-supportive behavior.

It is interesting and enriching to explore different cultures from the sustainability point of view.

I recently came across an amazing term used in Japan called “Mottainai!”.

The exclamation “Mottainai!” conveys a sense of regret over waste. It indicates that something is being discarded needlessly.

This Buddhist term is being used in Japan for around eight hundred years. In recent years, Japanese environmentalists have used the term to promote the 3Rs: reduce, reuse, and recycle. An interesting point is the idea of “Mottainai” not only advocates the 3R concept but it adds the nuance of another R to it and that is ‘Respect’. The term emphasis on respecting everything we use/eat/consume. Even the things that we use in our day to day life should be used responsibly, with some gratitude.

Isn’t that an amazing philosophy?

So, next time when you think about discarding something; think twice and if you still decide to do so, do it respectfully and of course responsibly!

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