January 27, 2014 (Mon)Subtle but renewed for 2014!

Belated Happy New Year!

Have you noticed some changes in our Eco Channel homepage?
Starting this year, Eco Channel has a new set of categories to better reflect themes of the videos introduced.  Here’s the list of new categories:


Under each category, you can find sub-categories to refine your search.  Under “Climate Change” category, for instance, there are currently 8 videos and by clicking “Climate Change”, you can see the list of thumbnails of each video:


Or you can simply do “key word search” as before by using the search engine at the top, if you are searching for something particular.


Regarding climate change, in March this year, Japan will host the UN’s IPCC (Inter-governmental Panel for Climate Change) Working Group II meeting in Yokohama.  At this meeting, IPCC’s 5th Assessment Report on impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability of the climate change on our eco system and our lives will be considered.  The Report is a compilation of all the scientific findings and data since the last Report 6 years ago that have been assessed and evaluated by the scientists worldwide.

The Working Group I Report released last September, in a tone ever more certain than the last ones, points out “it is most likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century”.  We humans have influenced “the warming in the atmosphere and the ocean, in changes in the global water cycle, in reductions of snow and ice, in global sea level rise, and in changes in some climate extreme events”.  So, let’s keep our eyes on how our influence on climate system is in turn affecting us now and will impact our lives into the future.   On Eco Channel, we hope to bring you the up-to-date information of this proceeding and more.

Thank you for keeping eyes on Eco Channel!

Posted at:15:05  |  Category:Infomations  |  Subtle but renewed for 2014!   |  Comments(0) | Trackbacks(0)

  • Twitter
  • Google bookmark
  • Facebook

August 21, 2012 (Tue)Introducing a new NHK program, Great Gear

Hi! How are you all doing? It's Kumi-chan.

Today, I want to introduce you a new program on NHK World that has been recently added to our Eco Channel collection.

Great Gear is a new program started this April on NHK World and on Digital Educational channel (only available in Japan). Great Gear

Great Gear features the latest in Japanese innovations and technologies from a wide range of industries.  The program is for 28-minutes and full of interesting ideas and people.  It is pretty neat to see how good old Japanese traditions are applied to enhance our modern day living also.

The program is hosted by Yoshi Ogasawara .  
Born in the USA, he has been living in Japan for the past 8 years.  In addition to his work in television media, he is a professional visual artist.

We have 4 stories from Great Gear up so far:

☆ Automotive Engineering Exhibition 2012Automotive Engineering Exhibition 2012

☆ Taking Urban Solar Energy to the Next LevelTaking Urban Solar Energy to the Next Level

☆ Environmental Exposition 2012Environmental Exposition 2012

☆ Rethinking HydroelectricityRethinking Hydroelectricity

We only upload stories that feature environmental issues but GREAT GEAR covers a broader spectrum of  issues.  So, please check it out.  For more details and recent stories, please follow this link:

Thanks!  Have a great week!

Posted at:11:39  |  Category:Infomations  |  Introducing a new NHK program, Great Gear   |  Comments(0) | Trackbacks(0)

  • Twitter
  • Google bookmark
  • Facebook

February 2, 2012 (Thu)Gearing up for Green Style Japan

Hi Eco Channel Friends,

It’s Ginger Vaughn here just wrapping up a busy week. Here on the Green Style team we’ve been working feverishly the last few days to finish up our spring edition of Green Style Japan 2012 which features a variety of new topics regarding sustainable lifestyles and green ideas here in Japan.  They include: sustainable recovery, radiation awareness, cutting Co2 and protecting forests.

120130.jpg Ginger and Mr.Shindo pull up fresh oysters grown using
microbubble technology in episode 1 of Green Style Japan.

This time around I did a lot of reporting in Tohoku, northern Japan in areas that were destroyed by last year’s March earthquake and tsunami.   The situation has improved greatly since last spring as many recovery efforts and aid groups are in place that are trying to help locals get back to some kind of normalcy.   However, there is still a long way to go, as mountains of unprocessed debris are still a common sight along with dilapidated buildings next to newly built ones.

Although it was very difficult to interview people who had been through so much hardship, I am always impressed and genuinely touched about how strong and positive the Japanese have been during this difficult time.  The spirit of “gambarou” or “perseverance” is definitely a reoccurring theme among many of the people I met in the last three months while shooting for Green Style Japan. And in terms of sustainability, it was interesting to hear so many young voices pushing toward a greener Japan.  While speaking with a group of freshman at Nihon University about an energy efficient LOHAS house, I was happy to hear one young man say, “Japan has been through hell, and there has been so much damage. So if we are going to start building something new, it’s a chance to do it sustainability.”  Now that’s what I like to hear.

Please stay tuned in February to watch our new season (4 episodes) of Green Style Japan.  One 30-minute program will air every Thursday at 8:30am Japan Standard Time and rebroadcast every 4 hours.

Green Style Japan On-Air Schedule:

Feb. 2 (Sustainable Recovery Post 3.11)
Episode 1 features microbubble technology used to revive oyster beds in areas that were destroyed by the March tsunami.  Take a look at how seawater is used to turn concrete debris into a new building material.

Feb. 9 (Raising Radiation Awareness)
Episode 2 shows how citizens and educators are stepping up radiation education in an aim to raise awareness and protect their children.

Feb.16 (Unique technology for CO2 reduction)
Episode 3 introduces recent efforts to reduce carbon dioxide pollution through methods such as carbon capturing.  Check out the LOHAS project (Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability), which features a prototype home that is making the most of natural resources.

Feb.23 (Protecting Forests)
Episode 4 brings you into the forests of Japan where new trends such as volunteer forestry among young people is helping boost local industry.  Also a look at forest therapy takes you on a hike that will not only revive your senses but lower your stress level!

And our clip of the week is a preview of some of the topics to be discussed in the upcoming Green Style Japan series. This video titled “3.11 and Radioactive Contamination”,discusses radiation pollution and power shortages across Japan. 

“3.11 and Radioactive Contamination”3.11 and Radioactive Contamination

That’s all for me today. Have a great week and see you next time!

Posted at:12:29  |  Category:Infomations  |  Gearing up for Green Style Japan   |  Comments(2) | Trackbacks(0)

  • Twitter
  • Google bookmark
  • Facebook

January 14, 2011 (Fri)2011-Year of the Forest

2011 was declared the "International Year of Forests" by the United Nations in an effort to raise awareness and strengthen sustainable management of forests, conservation, and sustainable development of all types of forests for the benefit of current and future generations.

According to the  UN webpage:
-Forests are home to 300 million people worldwide
-Trade in forest products was estimated at $327 billion dollars in 2004
-Livelihoods of over 1.6 billion people depend on the forest
-Forests are home to 80% of our world's terrestrial biodiversity
-Primary forests account for 36% of the earth's surface area
-Forests cover 31% of total land area

In a recent shoot for green lifestyle show, "Green Style Japan," we also covered the problem of forests in Japan. In Japan, it's not deforestation that's the problem, rather it's neglect.  Many forests are left untended, resulting in overgrown trees fighting for light and resources,  which eventually leads to dying, unhealthy forests.

One company we featured, Oak Village, has specialized in developing in manufacturing wooden furniture, interior goods and accessories based on the concept of making products that last 100 years using trees that took 100 years to grow.  What a concept!  Building things to last because resources are precious!!

The below photo is taken during our shoot, where I introduced some of the lovely scents from the firm's  line of aroma oils, such as the smell of "kuromoji," which some say smell like the Amazon rosewood tree which faces threat of extinction due to overharvesting and development.

This report on "Forests" will be part of a new series on the program, "Green Style Japan," which will be aired on Wednesday, February 9thth (23:00-0:00 UTC) on NHK World.

One of the challenges we have in preserving our forests is the dilemma many countries face in choosing between economic growth and preservation of their natural resources. 
Take a look this report  "Hot Spot Dilemma," which examines the affects of deforestation and development in tropical regions such as Indonesia and the need to set up conservation areas to prevent further loss of biodiversity.

e_nl_20101028_0142.jpg(*this video is no longer available)

Posted at:12:12  |  Category:Programs  |  2011-Year of the Forest   |  Comments(0) | Trackbacks(0)

  • Twitter
  • Google bookmark
  • Facebook

November 9, 2010 (Tue)Biodiversity in Palau

Hi there!  I just got back from an amazing scuba diving trip from some world class dive spots in Palau.  Most people do not know much about this beautiful island nation in the Pacific Ocean officially known as The Republic of Palau.  It is located about 2000 miles from Japan and is known as a diver's paradise.  You can see a glimpse of the beauty the islands here (view from my hotel room and boat ride).

Palau1_s.JPG Palau2_s.JPG


The islanders who live here are gentle spirits with a very strong sense of community and deep pride for their culture.  Seafaring has long been a part of their culture, and the love of the ocean and the respect people give to the sea is apparent in daily life.

So now more about diving!  I am still relatively new to diving but I must say I've been absolutely spoiled by the biodiversity that exists in the sea here.  The first day out, the captain of the boat made a sudden stop to point out something in the water.  He slowed down the boat and soon enough groups of dolphins were making themselves seen coming out of the water as if to greet us. Now under the sea, that is a completely different world!  Giant clams, turtles, and sharks are common sights at 15 meters below sea level.

Palau3_m.jpg Palau4_m.jpg


Palau5_m.jpg Palau6_m.jpg

I can now say that I know why divers and scientists all over the world come to Palau to check out the amazing biodiversity that lives here. These days, more attention is focused on changing sea levels and the affect of rising waters on habitats of both land and sea creatures. See more on this issue in the clip, "Rising Water, Rising Concerns."

Jellyfish Lake was the highlight of my trip!  This ancient lake is one of a kind as it contains countless jellyfish that do not sting; therefore it's safe to swim with them.

Palau8_m.JPGIt is said that thousands, perhaps even millions of years ago, jellyfish were trapped in this lake after a submerged reef rose from the sea when tectonic plates shifted.  This created a landlocked saltwater lake. Here the jellyfish have no natural predators and adapted to the new conditions by losing their stinging ability. Although the jellies do not sting, I did feel a bit itchy when I was in the water.

These "Golden Jellyfish" have eight eyes and algae that live within their bodies. These algae are what the jellyfish survive on. Twice daily, the jellies in swim from one side of the lake to the other to get sunlightso the algae in their bodies can grow. At night the jellyfish swim to a lower depth (the lake is about 30 meters deep) where the water is rich in nitrogen. Since I went there during the daytime, these interesting creatures could be found everywhere one swam.  If you ever come to Palau, I highly recommend swimming in Jellyfish Lake!

Posted at:17:23  |  Category:Infomations  |  Biodiversity in Palau   |  Comments(0) | Trackbacks(0)

  • Twitter
  • Google bookmark
  • Facebook

October 25, 2010 (Mon)Focus on Recycling and Reuse!

Hi there!  It seems that even the film industry is catching on for the need to go green.
This past weekend, the Tokyo International Film festival kicked off with a green carpet instead of the typical red one that usually marks the path for celebs and officials.  The green carpet was made from over 20,000 recycled plastic bottles and represented "ecology," the theme for the event for the third year in a row.

You can see more on how recycling waste can lead to some pretty innovative products in Japan.  Check out this clip on"Eco Ideas for a Symbiotic Society," to learn more how businesses are coming up with eco-ideas like reusing everyday items to help improve society.


Posted at:20:11  |  Category:Infomations  |  Focus on Recycling and Reuse!   |  Comments(0) | Trackbacks(0)

  • Twitter
  • Google bookmark
  • Facebook