December 17, 2005


JFS English Guided Tours -- THE SLOTH CLUB

Report of the Eco Products 2005

A pioneer of Japan's Slow Life movement to suggest a new lifestyle through an eco-cultural movement established in 1999

"Become A Sloth": to suggest living like a sloth, a symbol of a lifestyle which is in harmony with nature (low-energy, cyclical, symbiotic and non-violent)

"Slow is Beautiful": to praise slowness to rethink our way of lives and to figure out true happiness as well as the relationship with human and the environment.

The Sloth Club conducts many projects in the areas of the environment, culture and business, such as protecting the sloth sanctuary in Ecuador and promoting "slow cafes" where support organically grown produce, fair trade and complementary currency.

Candle Night, a nationwide blackout campaign on summer and winter solstice, has initially started by the group. With the concept of slow life, the group's attempts attract a great deal of attention from the public in Japan, where more and more people have started to rethink their work-centered lifestyles particularly after the economic depression in the late 1990s, and many other countries.

Other projects include;

Slow Business
With the concept of the business which "will create a society in which various people can live together with peace in mind", the Sloth Club suggests to rethink the relationship between economic activities and the environment and encourages one to start Slow Business. Areas of slow business are fair trade, slow food, eco tourism and complementary currency.

Hummingbird Campaign
Inspired by a hummingbird story* in Ecuador, the Sloth Club started Hummingbird Campaign to encourage people to make a little effort to improve the environment, especially to prevent global warming, by sharing ideas of such efforts through the websites, seminars and publications. It has been spreading to other countries including South Korea, the UK, Brazil, Ecuador, and Canada. Dr Wangari Maathai, a Nobel Prize laureate, also supports the campaign.

* a hummingbird story:
In the story, a hummingbird was trying hard to stop a fire in the forest where the bird lived by dropping water carried by its little beak, while other animals were running away, laughing at its little effort. The bird was not discouraged, saying, 'I'm just doing what I can do.'

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