by Victoria Hall
BEE Japan—Bicycle for Everyone’s Earth (www.beejapan.org) is a group of international cyclists that promotes environmental awareness and green living in Japan. Their main event is the annual two-month BEE ride, which kicks off at the beginning of August and stretches from the northern-most island of Japan to the southern most.
Since it’s initiation in 1996 the mission of the trip is to encourage Earth-friendly behavior among the people they meet on the way using both direct action and environmental education. The goal is to promote environmental awareness and to show people how to lead a greener life. Each year a specific environmental issue is selected as a focal point. Last year, the team chose to support the dugong habit issue in Okinawa where the endangered animals were threatened by a proposed military base. This year, the team decided to focus on the issue of energy consumption, inspired by the Rokkasho issue. Rokkasho-mura is a village in Northern Honshu where the Japanese government plans to operate a nuclear reprocessing plant. Through the ride, BEE plans to teach people about the various forms of energy and show them how to minimize their own energy consumption.
The team is traveling the length of Japan exclusively by bicycle while eating low on the food chain (vegetarian), and choosing organic and fair trade products whenever possible, supporting local economies by buying the local produce, and refraining from using vending machines. Riders have also pledged to minimize waste by choosing less packaged products, buying reusable, recycled, and recyclable items, and using no waribashi or other disposable eating utensils.
To keep up with their adventures on their blog-spot, visit www.beejapan.org/index/?q=en/blog.