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Article: “KNOT a DAY” Respect for the Aged Day special feature! Sustainable now and then

“KNOT a DAY” Respect for the Aged Day special feature! Sustainable now and then

In recent years, the word "sustainable" has become more common.

So, have we not engaged in any "sustainable" activities at all?

KAPOK KNOT believes that is not the case. Things that have been around for a long time and habits that are ingrained in our daily lives can actually be considered "sustainable."

Today is Respect for the Aged Day, so we're bringing you a theme that will make you want to talk to your grandparents. We would like to introduce "sustainable" activities that have been born over time and their evolution.

【table of contents】
・Uchimizu, an eco-friendly summer tradition
・“Bellmark” creates a recycling-oriented society
・“Furoshiki” is more versatile than an eco bag

Uchimizu, an eco-friendly summer tradition


Uchimizu is a summer tradition that involves sprinkling water on gardens and roads to cool off. It is a culture that began in the Edo period, and is also depicted in haiku and ukiyo-e prints from that time. Originally, it had a strong meaning of hospitality, such as brushing away the dust from the road and purifying the road for guests.

The coolness you feel when drinking water is due to the ``heat of vaporization,'' which absorbs the surrounding heat when the liquid evaporates. When water is sprinkled on a road, as it evaporates, it absorbs heat from the ground, lowering the surrounding temperature. Unlike air conditioners and fans, they do not use any electricity or other energy, making them the ultimate eco-friendly measure against the heat.

◆The current situation of “Uchimizu” ~Mist with small water particles~




Have you ever been sprayed with water near a train station or at a theme park? That is mist, which can be called a modern version of ``uchimizu.'' Although it uses some electricity to spray the mist, it is much more energy efficient than an air conditioner. Since it can be used outdoors, it is effective in preventing heatstroke.

Recently, the latest misters installed at Shinbashi Station and other places have been attracting attention. A special nozzle developed by Panasonic makes it possible to eject an extremely small mist that won't make your face or clothes feel wet.

Use mist to cool yourself down in public places, and do the traditional uchimizu process at home. Isn't this a modern, eco-friendly way to deal with the heat? By the way, when you use uchimizu, you can save water and be even more eco-friendly by reusing the leftover hot water from the bath!

A recycling-oriented society created by “Bellmark”!


Many of you may have worked hard to collect bell marks with your parents when you were in elementary school. I'm sure some of you are collecting "bell marks" for your children.

By the way, do you know how the bell mark works?

Purchase educational equipment, teaching materials, etc. according to the number of Bellmark points collected by each school.

10% of the purchase price will be donated to the Bellmark Education Grant Foundation.

This will lead to support for schools in remote areas, special needs schools, schools affected by disasters, NPOs that help children in Asia, etc.

In this way, it is a doubly sustainable activity that supports the sustainable operation of our own school while extending a helping hand to children in difficult educational environments. The Bell Mark Movement, which began in 1960, is still being continued by the PTA and various sponsoring and cooperating companies.

◆The current situation of “Bellmark” ~Bellmark is also moving into the web era~


Traditionally, bell marks were commonly cut out with scissors from the packaging of foodstuffs, stationery, etc. In fact, since 2013, a bell mark called "Web Bell Mark" that does not require cutting and pasting has been introduced! The trigger was the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011. It was established with the aim of continuing to provide support to schools in the disaster-stricken areas from all over the country.


<The mechanism of Webbellmark is easy! >

Perform online shopping, travel reservations, etc. via the Web Bellmark website.

Send the Bellmark points you receive based on the fee to the specified school.

Combine the bell marks to be cut and pasted and use them at school.


*Half of the points earned through Web Bellmark will be donated to schools in the disaster area.

Conventional Bellmarks had many issues, such as many items with low scores making it difficult to accumulate points, and sorting by product and score placing a burden on PTAs. Web Bellmark has overcome these challenges, and the point is that anyone can participate. Even if you do not have children in elementary school, you can still make a contribution by supporting your local school or alma mater by using the Web Bellmark website.

Furoshiki is more versatile than an eco bag


``Furoshiki'' became popular during the Edo period as a cloth for wrapping clothes and tools due to public bath culture. People who like Japanese clothing may already be familiar with them, but with the introduction of charges for plastic bags in June 2020, the number of people purchasing them has increased rapidly.

Not only can they be used for shopping, they can also be used as rugs or lap blankets, and are attracting attention as they have a variety of uses other than "putting things in" that are not found in eco-bags!

The current state of “furoshiki” ~Evolved furoshiki made with carefully selected materials~



Aqua Drop Rescue is an idea product unique to Japan, a country prone to disasters. It can be used in 12 different ways in the event of a disaster. The fabric has been treated to be water-repellent, so it can be used as a bucket to carry 10L of water, and it is also durable, so you can tie it into a backpack and carry the equivalent of four 2L plastic bottles. It is packed with various ideas.



There are also brands that make furoshiki from sustainable materials. Handmade cosmetics shop ``LUSH'' sells ``Knot Wrap,'' a wrapping cloth that is friendly to people and the environment, and is made of organic cotton, recycled plastic, and reused vintage scarves. Recently, we have started a project where you can buy a new Knot Wrap at half the price even if you wear it out and take it to a store. The collected cloth is washed and inspected before being passed on to a new owner, making it an item that minimizes the act of throwing it away.



I think there are many other examples of things and habits that have been rooted in our lives for a long time that are actually sustainable. Since it's Respect for the Aged Day, by talking to your grandparents, you may realize that they used to have such customs.

In the future, I think we will see an increase in new sustainable initiatives in order to achieve the SDGs in 2030. Try starting with activities that are easy to incorporate into your own life, such as the traditional things and habits introduced this time.