For Japan, going green is now more vital than ever since the nuclear crisis.
As summer coincides with a shortage in electricity supply due to the shutting down of 40 per cent of nuclear power plants in the country, one suburb has come up with a unique way to keep the temperature down.
Mitaka city has distributed 400 pots of gourd free of charge to its citizens after test shown the plants are able to bring down the heat.
Yukio Kawaguchi, Chief of Parks and Green Zone Section, Mitaka City, said: “Last year, Mitaka City conducted a test and found out the temperature with and without gourd curtains or green curtains. Temperature was two degrees lower with. That is why we decided to do this.”
It now wants to spread this activity to all nurseries and after-school centres in the city.
This green way of keeping cool will also prevent a strain on Japan’s electricity supplies.
The use of air-conditioners is a major power sapper and the government wants a 15 per cent reduction over last summer’s usage despite potential health concerns.
Toyohiko Takagai, Director of Senior Citizens Support, Mitaka City, said: “We intend to call for their caution against heat strokes and distribute fliers to all and at the same time give out items.”
Neck coolers made of polymer will be distributed to them to help them keep cool.
They are required to moisten the coolers for three minutes to feel the effect.