Simply stated: We are in the business of delivering world peace through environment conservation
Using MOTTAINAI as a keyword, we want to pass on the beauty of our earth to future generations. Prof. Maathai told us that we are merely borrowing the earth from future generations and that it is adults' responsibility to make sure we hand over to them a beautiful world. Personally, we believe that Japan, as the only country to have undergone a nuclear attack, and its people can use MOTTAINAI as an expression of their remorse and hopes for the future. By that, we mean that we should make an anti-war pledge to rid the world of war, the biggest example of MOTTAINAI because it is a waste of valuable resources.
In Japan, With its daily circulation of 4 million, the Mainichi has been calling on Japanese to do simple things to reduce carbon dioxide emission to prevent global warming, like such activities as:
Not leaving the water running when they brush their teeth
Not driving their car for distances they could easily walk
Turning out lights that don°«t need to be on
Using energy conserving home appliances
Choosing their own reusable shopping bags over the plastic bags handed out at stores
Many people across Japan have shown their support for the concept of MOTTAINAI, with a recent poll showing that 80 percent of Japanese are aware of the campaign.
°»Mottai°… is originally a Buddhist term that refers to the essence of things. It also applies to everything in our physical universe, suggesting that objects do not exist in isolation but are intrinsically linked to one another.
°»Nai°… is a negation, so °»MOTTAINAI°… is an expression of sadness over the repudiation of the ties linking all living and nonliving entities. It is also a rallying cry to reestablish such bonds and reassert the importance of treating all animate and inanimate objects with great care.
Practicing this concept requires making the most of limited resources and using them as efficiently as possible. In more familiar terms, it is very much in line with efforts to promote the °»3Rs°…: to reduce waste, reuse finite resources, and recycle what we can.
Implementing the 3Rs is the shortest path to environmental conservation. Since an appreciation of the concept of °»MOTTAINAI°… is synonymous with respect for the essence of things, it should not only contribute to protecting the environment but also lead to enhanced respect for human rights and world peace. It is a truly timely concept for modern times.
Prof. Maathai lecturing about MOTTAINAI at the Commission on the Status of Woman in New York
Another lesson I brought from Japan was the spirit of the 3R campaign, which I know you are familiar with (reduce, re-use, repair and recycle). In Japan I learned that the Buddhist word MOTTAINAI embraces that concept of not wasting resources but using them with respect and gratitude. I have been sharing that word, MOTTAINAI wherever I go because I think it°«s a beautiful word and I have been consciously practicing the 3R campaign, especially by re-using my shopping bags.
(From a speech by Prof. Maathai in Chicago)
We invited Prof. Maathai to Japan three times February 2005, February 2006 and May 2007. Since Prof. Maathai came to Japan at first, we are working on circulating MOTTAINAI Campaign in collaboration with NGO.
We have been introducing information about MOTTAINAI in the world in the press and on the web. As efforts cooperated with MOTTAINAI Campaign, a lot of local governments invited approaches to stop waste of resources in their daily life, held flea markets. More than 2000 participants, not only government but also as an individual, corporation, and NGO concerning about MOTTAINAI Campaign assembled Utsunomiya-city, neighbor to Tokyo, for The 1st Mottainai national convention August 2007.
Charmine Koda, Director of the United Nations Information Centre, make an appeal that we can broadcast MOTTAINAI Campaign if we involve another one doing °»MOTTAINAI°… on the keynote speech. In the conference room, more than 100 local governments have a booth and introduce their activities.
The 2nd national convention will be held early summer 2008, in conjunction with G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit 2008.
We have established The MOTTAINAI Official Website June 2007. On the web, you can learn much about our activities, business and news concerning MOTTAINAI in Japan and the world.
MOTTAINAI Campaign utilized for education: at the school festival of Human Academy Osaka
We support a school training about 3Rs + Respect and MOTTAINAI. For example, The Sugino school of Dressmaking and The Mainichi Newspapers Corporation put on fashion show proposing newly designed shopping bags by students May 2007, and career college °»Human Academy°… Osaka branch school held campus festival titled °»MOTTAINAI°ŖMONSTER°… November 2007, various pictures, re-using my bag etc are displayed.
Additionally, we have been driving fund-raising for Green Belt Movement, and have raised above 30 million yen until March 2007.