23 September is Autumnal Equinox Day in all parts of Japan except Kunimi town (Nagasaki) where they celebrate 'Kunimi Day'. This year marks the 11th year that the town has held a festival on this day and GSA Kyushu/ Okinawa was there to fly the Ecoflag and run a GSA booth.
Young members of the Kunimi Board of Trade were prominent in the planning of the event and their spirit was a pleasant contrast to the rain that fell. Kunimi Junior High School's wind orchestra got the event started after Kunimi Board of Trade's Masafumi Hirata made an environmental declaration and young and old turned out to watch the event.
"We, the young members of the Kunimi Board of Trade, promise to reduce garbage and save energy at this event and in our everyday lives in an effort to protect the natural environment."
Among the entertainers were a cheerleading team from Fukuoka, a freestyle basketball demonstration and various dance groups, and despite the increasingly heavy rain, many of the spectators hung around until evening for the firework finale.
'Eco-staff' were on hand to help with garbage separation at the event and collection boxes were labeled with the slogan "If you toss it, it's garbage, if you separate it, it's a resource'. The GSA booth was running all day providing information as well as selling T-shirts the book 'Vital Messages' and collecting donations.
In reflection, so much garbage is produced at these festivals, such as paper cups, disposable chopsticks and packaging, we could do a lot to reduce this waste if people brought their own utensils, cups and so on. Event planners could also reuse paper or use recycled paper when producing leaflets. Protecting the environment requires some effort but if everybody gets involved, we can succeed and events such as these help to raise awareness. Situated between the mountains and sea, Kunimi town has a natural beauty worth protecting and the Ecoflag is an effective tool in raising awareness to protect it.
GSA Kyushu/ Okinawa