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Japan: Sustainability and Home Lifestyle

Developed by Beth Buglio, High School Teacher, Downington Area School District

This unit connects everyday customs of Japanese life with steps toward sustainability. In an island country with urban population density seventeen times greater than American cities, efforts to live sustainably are a necessity. Japanese face challenges similar to ours as an urbanized, consumer culture, but the need to change lifestyle is more acutely felt.  The Japanese people bring to bear a highly cooperative sense of community, traditional values that deplore wastefulness, and new technological innovation. By studying how Japan faces the challenge of conserving water, energy, and material resources – including how to dispose of its waste – we may build concepts that will be useful in discussing our own issues of consumption and environmental impact. Interested teachers are encouraged to pick and choose among the activities in this unit, as there are resources that could be used to achieve learning outcomes at various levels.

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