Japan remains to be one of the cleanest places to live in despite having some of its own environmental issues. One of which is the problem they face when it comes to putting away garbage such as the situation in the Seto Inland Sea (瀬戸内海). However, overall, it is a pretty clean country. It has kept most of the places spotless such as its city streets.
Cleanliness is primarily a cultural issue and Japan has lived to such great reputation wherein people bring home their trash after attending sports events and the like. Graffiti is also rare and several men in jumpsuits are employed to scrub off any stains and gums on train station floors. But apart from these, there are several other reasons that make the country clean and green. Let’s check out 5 reasons below!
Being responsible for one’s own mess starts as early as childhood in Japan. Every class is responsible for tidying up their own classrooms and two other places inside the campus. Cleaning period occurs after school for half an hour. The class is divided into groups called “han,” which are responsible for doing chores such as dusting, wiping the floors, or vacuuming on a daily or weekly shift. Some of the other areas they clean are toilets, the gym, halls, and even faculty rooms.
One typical setting you can find at Japanese schools regarding human relations is how 6th graders visit the 1st graders in order to teach and help them clean. They basically function as their role models. This is a nice interaction between the upper and lower grades as there are many young kids who don’t have siblings.
The seriousness in cleaning depends on how much emphasis the school puts on it. There are some kids who are naturally more serious in cleaning than others. Japanese people do not expect others to take care of their mess. They’d always think twice before littering.
“Organization is the key to success.” This is also true when it comes to cleaning up the environment.
For the Japanese, putting away trash doesn’t only mean tossing them in proper trash bins. They have a garbage disposal system which helps people segregate trash properly. Each area or district has its own system. For example, a particular town’s system may sort them out into burnable (red bags), non-burnable (blue bags), paper, plastic, cans, cartons, styrofoam, PET bottles, batteries, broken glass, etc. (white bags). Depending on the type, some are collected weekly while others are collected bi-monthly or monthly. Though it sounds like an inconvenient way to go about your daily life as it takes time to think of which place to put your trash into, it is definitely a possible way.
If you ever get the chance to have a long distance travel via buses, an individual trash bag will be provided in each seat as a way of encouraging people to properly dispose of their unwanted items.
Aside from keeping schools clean, Japanese people make sure that wherever they are, their surroundings are well arranged and tidy. In other countries, street cleaning is commonly done by janitors or those in the similar field. In Japan, there is actually no need to hire these people as many of citizens clean their own areas. Many of the Japanese are fond of cleaning and keeping their homes and offices spick and span. This gives them a satisfactory environment and instills some positive habits in their lives.
Cleanup schedules are not only meant for little kids. Adults in the neighborhood have regular cleanup schedules which they are asked to join regularly, too. This sounds like semi-obligatory but this is how it goes in the country.
There are instances where people have to wake up as early as 7 am to do some neighborhood cleaning before they actually go to work. At this time, you’ll witness people donning some gloves and carrying shovels, rakes, and so on before leaving for work. Some of the activities that they do to tidy up the whole area are cutting weeds and grasses, as well as watering the plants. These activities may sound little but they can go a long way. With everyone helping each other, it surely becomes an easy work to maintain the tidy culture in the country.
Japan has an excellent public transportation system. They are not only safe, comfortable, affordable, and reliable, but are also very clean. It is considered to be absolutely the best in the world. When it comes to trains, the seats are well cushioned to guarantee a comfortable travel that will also help people feel socially obligated to keep clean.
Apart from this, the country’s emission control is one of the strictest in the world. Being the leader of pollution control technologies, it has well adopted the world’s first fuel economy regulations for heavy-duty vehicles.
Every public transportation in Japan assures a friendly experience for everyone as it is no longer necessary to own a car which means fewer cars, thus a cleaner environment. In this case, there’s no need for gasoline budget, no car insurance or car debt payments, no need to pay for tune-ups or parking space, and other oppressive bills associated with owning a vehicle.
Japan is continuously promoting clean technology and other waste recycling services to maintain its cleanliness. Being raised to be mindful of the environment is crucial to the Japanese people. They actually put more emphasis on the community rather than the individual. If one person makes a mess in the neighborhood, cleaning it up is seen as a shared responsibility of the community. This is the reason why people think twice before leaving a mess for others to clean up.
Their streets, cities, and homes are often tidy and comfortable to live in. Japan’s cleanliness is unparalleled by nature and is highly supported by different communities that are actually having a good time in helping out. Other than these, Japanese people also look immaculately polished in their appearances. It is seldom to see anyone wearing a wrinkled shirt.
With these 5 reasons, we can conclude that Japan is definitely one of the cleanest and greenest places to live in!