The secret life of your rice cooker

We have seen the enemy, and it is… kitchen appliances!

NPR reported recently on Japan’s struggle to achieve lower carbon emissions and its effort to target the kinds of things we leave plugged in even when we don’t need them.

It seems that the reduction Japan agreed to in the Kyoto Protocol is tougher than expected. While individuals can make a difference, the government may have taken that idea too far with an ad campaign called “Team Minus 6%.” According to the NPR story,

“[One] advertisement features a conversation between a microwave oven and a rice cooker. The message: Unplug appliances when you’re not using them.”

Unfortunately, my YouTube search failed to locate a video of this undoubtedly priceless ad.

The article goes on to examine this idea more closely:

“You might think that environmentalists would applaud, but Tetsunari Lida feels like it’s a distraction. ‘It’s nonsense,’ Lida says. ”

And Lida should know. He’s the director of the Institute for Sustainable Energy Policies in Tokyo.

While it would be great if “kitchen activism” could save the world from the big, bad carbon emissions, I don’t think that’s the key.

My message? Keep taking public transportation and cut down on air travel, use alternative energy sources, eat locally, green up your investment portfolio, and exercise your consumer sovereignty by supporting eco-friendly companies—or better yet, start one yourself.


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