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Five recent reads on the climate crisis and environmental solutions as seen from Japan:

  • Warnings about warming don’t come much clearer than this: Japan’s cherry trees are reaching full bloom in record time this year, with the national weather agency explicitly linking the early sakura season — and delayed autumn phenomena — to Earth’s ever-toastier climate.
  • Japan is looking to raise its 2030 greenhouse gas emissions reduction target to at least 40% compared with fiscal 2013 levels — a drastic increase from the original target of 26% — Kyodo reports. The move comes ahead of a meeting between PM Yoshihide Suga and U.S. President Joe Biden on Friday.
Miyawaki Method of Plantation I Afforestation I Akira Miyawaki I Man Made Forest I Urban Forest | DESIGN ESSENTIALZ
Miyawaki Method of Plantation | AFFORESTATION | AKIRA MIYAWAKI | MAN MADE FOREST | URBAN FOREST | DESIGN ESSENTIALZ
  • Urban greening not only boosts biodiversity and lowers air temperatures, it also provides a crucial link to the natural world. While green areas in Japanese cities have been declining, the “Miyawaki method” pioneered by a Japanese botanist is inspiring projects around the world, writes Francesco Bassetti.
  • The search for friendship and community among foreign residents of Nagoya has become intimately tied to environmental education and activism, writes Eric Margolis. Take Small World, for example, a group that boasts a network of thousands of contacts, who come together for trash pickups and other events.
  • Japan loves good packaging, but that doesn’t mean it’s completely oblivious to the unnecessary waste all those layers produce, writes Mio Yamada. With Earth Day coming up, On Design looks into a few initiatives that address the nation’s plastic waste problem, from beach-waste-derived products to paper razors.

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