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Party in the park celebrates Earth Day

by Maaya Konagai

Staff Writer

Earth Day celebrations have been held in different forms since 1970, but since April 22, 1990, the day has been an international affair.

While some areas of Japan celebrated last month, Tokyo has a slew of activities that the whole family can take part in to show Mother Nature they care.

Earth Day Tokyo (www.earthday-tokyo.org) will be held April 21 and 22 in Yoyogi Park. This particular event started in 2001 and this year’s theme is: “Another World is Possible, Atarashi Mirai wa Jibuntachi no Te de” (“A New Future by Our Own Hands”).

There will be no shortage of things to do at the various booths of the event. Workshops will be available, as will talks by environmentalists, including one by Japan Times columnist C.W. Nicol. One booth will collect visitors’ ideas about the environment and organizers hope to send those ideas to an Earth Summit being held in Rio de Janeiro this June.

There will also be entertainment. Sixteen artists, including Tokiko Kato, Ego-Wrappin’ and Frying Dutchman will play throughout the celebration’s duration. All the electricity for the performers’ instruments will be produced using biodiesel fuel.

Elsewhere at Earth Day Tokyo will be the J-Wave xChange (www.j-wave.co.jp/special/xchange) for clothes. Japanese people reportedly throw away 9 kg of clothing for every 10 kg they buy in one year. People are encouraged to bring their unwanted clothes to the J-Wave booth, where they’ll be asked to write a personal note for each item of clothing. After the clothes have been collected, people can choose someone else’s second-hand duds for free.

Earth Day Tokyo will also feature events and booths related to last year’s earthquake in the northern Tohoku region.

Environmental problems can sometimes seem overwhelming, but organizers hope the event will educate and inspire people to make changes on an individual level that will hopefully lead to bigger solutions.