Quick tips to reduce your waste in Japan

While I hardly consider myself a hardcore environmentalist, I do believe in reducing our unnecessary taxing of resources (i.e. excessive waste).
In Japan, there are many steps the country has been taking (some for many many years) to reduce the country's output of garbage.

Anyway, here are some of my steps I'm personally taking to reduce my waste:

  1. Use the phrase "袋は要りません" (fukuro wa irimasen) meaning "I don't need a bag" when you buy small things at the convenience store
  2. Buy a pair of chopsticks (105JPY at your local Daiso) and keep them at your desk at work. When you buy food from a convenience store, tell them "お箸は要りません" (Ohashi wa irimasen - I don't need chopstics).
  3. Carry a hand towel with you in your back pocket. Most washrooms don't have dryers or paper towels to dry your hands with. Even if they do, save some trees and use your cloth towel. These cost anywhere from a few hundred yen to a couple thousand if you want one made of the finest quality.
  4. Walk or take the train. Chances are what you need isn't that far from where you live. This only holds true for large cities like Tokyo and Osaka, though.
Obviously there are many more things you can do, but every little bit helps!