Tagged 'nature'

The North Face urges stressed-out urbanites in China to ‘Go wild’ and escape to nature

The fast pace of urban life and resulting disconnect from nature is a point of tension and anxiety for city dwellers across the globe. For Chinese white-collar workers in megacities such as Beijing and Shanghai, the drive to succeed has led to intense pressure, long working hours and the type of sedentary day jobs that can be spiritually suffocating. Kean to this insight, outdoor brand The North Face launched a campaign advocating that people escape—if only for a weekend—and return to the wild in order to release, rediscover and reconnect to the world through valuable experiences.

In a humorous manifesto spot, urbanites are encouraged to literally drop everything in their hectic lives and retreat to the great outdoors, taking back their sanity in the process. Set to racing drums, the spot opens with a man who’s given up on a chaotic traffic jam (he exits his car, placing the keys on the roof as the voiceover commands, “Damn you, traffic jams”). A man smashes an alarm clock that’s signaling the beginning of his morning routine, and an office worker shoves files into the arms of her perplexed colleague before strolling out. As the commercial cuts across various urban stressors, the drums and voiceover climb to a crescendo, then break to scenes of nature and the sound of a deep exhale. We see people trekking across the plains and frozen tundra. “Your life deserves another possibility,” the voiceover says. “To discover. To release. To gain. Go wild.”

Photo Credit: marketing.tudou.com/TheNorthFace

‘Green curtain sets’ take off in Japan with summertime energy shortages

Japanese people had great interest in addressing energy issues related to global warming before the earthquake, but habits are hard to change. Now, shortages of electricity for the hot summer have forced the issue. PLANT to PLANT is one innovative solution: In June, seed and plant farmers from Fukushima—within the nuclear power plant’s evacuation area– started nationwide distribution of a “green curtain set,” which includes a bitter gourd nursery plant and a planter. A green curtain is an energy conservation method—plants outside a building help keep inside temperatures down. Bitter gourd can also be harvested as a summer vegetable. Rakuten, Japan’s largest online retailer, reported that sales of green curtain kits are up ninefold this year, according to Businessweek. Companies like Hitachi and Kyocera are undertaking similar initiatives, giving seed kits to employees as well as planting around their facilities.

People here are becoming more open to the wisdom of old times and the power of nature vs. unquestioned reliance on limited resources. Many of the paradigms for energy use will likely change as Japan finds a new way forward. Brands that can offer sustainable, nature-based, tradition-inspired solutions that also help people maintain the lifestyle they’re accustomed to stand to make a lot of headway.

Photo credit: rockriver

夏の電力不足で「緑のカーテンセット」が好評

山田 詩津 (東京)

日本人は震災前から地球温暖化に関連するエネルギー問題に大いに関心を持っていたが、習慣を変えるまでなかなか至らなかった。しかし暑い夏の電力不足によってこの問題に取り組む時がやってきた。「プラントからプラントへ」は革新的なソリューションだ。六月に原発の避難区域でもある福島県の種苗農家たちがゴーヤの苗とプランターの「緑のカーテンセット」の販売を開始した。緑のカーテンとは植物を建物の外側で生息させることにより、内部の温度上昇を抑制させる省エネの手法である。ゴーヤは夏野菜として収穫もできる。ビジネスウィークによると日本最大のオンラインショップ楽天の今年の緑のカーテンセットの売り上げは、去年の9倍にもなったそうだ。企業でも日立や京セラは同様の事を行っており、社員に種のキットを配布したり、会社施設の周りに植えたりしている。人々は限りある資源に頼るのではなく、昔ながらの知恵や自然の力を活用し始めている。エネルギー使用に関する大きなパラダイムシフトが今後の日本では起きていくであろう。人々が慣れ親しんだライフスタイルを保てるよう手助けできる、持続可能な、自然をベースにした、伝統からヒント得たソリューションを提供できるブランドが前進していくであろう。