We are students in a special program in japanese and eurasian studies. Recently, we went on a study trip to Ishigaki, an island in Japan, to learn more about sustainable living. It was an adventure that taught us a lot about taking care of our planet. 

When we first got to Ishigaki, we saw that the beaches were not as clean as we thought they would be. There was a lot of trash washed up on the sand. It made us sad to see nature like this, but we were ready to help clean it up. 

Cleaning Up Together 

We put on gloves and started picking up trash from the beach. We found plastic bottles, nets, and lots of other things that shouldn’t be there. Picking up each piece of trash made us feel proud to help the nature.  

Learning from Locals 

Our discussions with the founder of a local recycling initiative, who pivoted from seaweed cultivation to tackling plastic pollution due to climate change, provided invaluable insights into the resilience and adaptability required to address environmental crises. 

These conversations enriched our understanding of the Japanese ethos of harmony with nature, while also highlighting innovative responses to environmental disruptions. 

Plastic bottle caps
Keychain made from plastic bottles 










Turning Trash into Something Good 

The best part was seeing how the trash we picked up could be turned into new things. We visited a place where they take plastic and make it into cloth for shirts or even toys. It was amazing to see how something bad could be turned into something good. 

You can make the difference 

After our trip, we all felt a strong need to keep helping the environment. We learned that even though we come from different places, we can all do something to make our world cleaner and safer. 

Beach before our cleaning
Beach after our cleaning