Community Spotlights on Sustainable Practices in Little Tokyo on Display

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Detail of poster about composting at Zenshuji.

Detail of poster about composting at Zenshuji.

By KATHY MASAOKA, PATTY NAGANO and AMY HONJIYO

Stop by the Far East Lounge window and take a look at our Community Spotlights!

Last fall, Sustainable Little Tokyo set up a gallery of posters at the FandangObon, showing how the Little Tokyo community is practicing sustainability.

When we talk about being sustainable, we do not just mean being “green” or caring about the environment but also preserving the economy, history and culture of Little Tokyo.This is the real meaning of “mottainai” – to value and respect what we have for ourselves and for future generations.

Mottainai, roughly meaning “don’t waste,” is a traditional Japanese cultural value reflecting a basic respect and gratitude for all things and to treat all resources with care, using the three “R’s” plus R: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Respect.

In that spirit, these posters highlight how our community organizations, businesses, churches and temples practice sustainability.

Detail of poster about GIVE (Green Institute for Village Empowerment) Union Church Urban Garden Program.

Detail of poster about GIVE (Green Institute for Village Empowerment) Union Church Urban Garden Program.

These include the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center, which provides a space for programs like Oshogatsu and brings different cultures together at the Fiesta Matsuri.

They also include Fugetsudo, the oldest business in Little Tokyo with over a 100-year history of selling manju.

Detail of poster about electronic waste (e-waste) program at Centenary United Methodist Church.

Detail of poster about electronic waste (e-waste) program at Centenary United Methodist Church.

Others show how our temples are growing gardens and repurposing discarded materials to make chochin (lanterns) for the Obons.

There is a poster about The Rafu Shimpo, which helps to keep our community connected and informed about events and people.

These are a just a few of them and we hope to keep adding more to the collection.

Each month, one of the posters will be displayed in the Far East Lounge window, highlighting one organization. We hope that these will help illustrate what we mean by sustainability and encourage others to share and to learn from each other. Currently, we are featuring the Far East Lounge with a poster about the “Mottainai Baasan” and the seniors who learn mottainai crafts.

Detail of poster about reusable teacups and chopsticks at Little Tokyo Nutrition Services (formerly Koreisha Chushoku Kai).

Detail of poster about reusable teacups and chopsticks at Little Tokyo Nutrition Services (formerly Koreisha Chushoku Kai).

If you would like to contribute a poster board highlighting your sustainability work in Little Tokyo, you are encouraged to contact us at [email protected]

Visit us at www.sustainablelittletokyo.org and “like” us at Facebook.com/SustainableLittleTokyo. 

Detail of poster about Little Tokyo Service Center, whose Grace Iino Child Care Center does not use disposable paper products.

Detail of poster about Little Tokyo Service Center, whose Grace Iino Child Care Center does not use disposable paper products.

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