Sunday Pick Me Up (September 11, 2022)

As the crowd gathered around the statue in Shirakawa Park and I made my way to the front to introduce this month’s Sunday Pick Me Up, I was reminded of the very first event, which took place in exactly the same location just over four years ago. That time, however, there were far less people (I think about 20 people attended the first event?), and instead of just me and Amanda introducing the event, there were now five of us lined up with our own roles and responsibilities.

Furthermore, there was a now-retired co-organiser, Kaja, and team leader, Bronté, in attendance. Kaja was an organiser for a couple of years, and the impact she had on the event and community was huge. She gave a face and an identity to SPMU, she was able to communicate in a fun and relatable way with our audience, and brought a certain dynamism that we’d never been able to capture before. Bronté was only a team leader for a few months, but showed a huge amount of enthusiasm and dedication and added so much character to the events she participated in, that we welcomed her into the organising team with open arms.

Both Kaja and Bronté have moved onto Osaka and Fukuoka respectively, but returned to their old stomping grounds in Nagoya to participate in this month’s Sunday Pick Me Up. This month’s Eco-Habit was delivered by Bronté, as it was the Eco-Habit that we shared when she first participated in the event.


September’s Eco-Habit: Disposable Chopsticks

This Eco-Habit is very special to my heart, as it was the Eco-Habit from the first SMPU event that welcomed me into such an amazing community.

Let’s talk about single use chopsticks – more commonly known in Japan as “waribashi”.

Did you know that Japan uses 25 billion chopsticks per YEAR? That’s 185 pairs per person every year! 375,000 tons of wood!

You could build 17,000 houses with the amount of wood used for chopsticks. Not only is there waste from the chopsticks there is also the additional waste from packaging.

The solution?

BYOC – Bring your own chopsticks.

You can your own chopsticks for as cheap as 100 yen and they come in their own container. We could save thousands of trees every year.

Waribashi more like… WariNashi! 🤪


Gosh those puns are terrible.

I’d love to see Sunday Pick Me Up expand beyond Nagoya, and Kaja and Bronte could be pivotal in making that happen. Let’s see how it goes and maybe you guys can join the event in a different prefecture! Maybe we could even take a field trip to go there together!

As always, I’m incredibly grateful to all of you for participating in the event and helping to keep this city clean and friendly. I’m especially thankful to all of the team leaders and co-organisers who make this event run smoothly. There’s a lot of work behind the scenes that goes into making this event fun for everyone, so thank you to Kaja, Bronte, Shehran, Jennifer and Masa.

We’ll see you next month, October 9, the day after the next International Party! That should be interesting 😅

Peace ✌

Matthew

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