Green Lab Associates in Asia – University of Kyoto, Japan
Kyoto is a prime tourist destination in Japan, known for its temples and sites. While they were beautiful, Martin used a day to visit the lauded University of Kyoto (largely thanks to efforts by Sapporo colleagues). On a warm Saturday afternoon, Martin visited Professor Misuzu Asari, who works in Kyoto’s Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies. A slight surprise of a visit, Martin met with Professor Asari and introduced his work around laboratories whilst she introduced how sustainability is approached at Kyoto. It seems that rather than having a central sustainability department as is the norm in the west, there are various professors instead with sustainability integrated into their roles, with Misuzu being one of them.
After an exchange of approaches, she walked him to her laboratory, where Martin found a mixed group of high school and university students working on various projects. Projects included finding ways to recycle and reuse more traditional Kimono’s, which can require expensive and carbon intensive fabrics. One project of note, was having students investigate how precious metals could be extracted from electronics waste such as mobile phones. Japan is hosting the 2020 Summer Olympics, and they are planning on producing winner medals solely from recycled materials – Truly inspirational!
We would like to thank Professor Misuzu and her students for sharing their work, practices, and exciting projects.