TURNING JAPANESE: In The Land Of The Rising Sun


JUNKSCIENCECARTOONCARROT_1_1.jpgBY ELIZABETH FIEND LIVING EDITOR To celebrate my 50th birthday I’m taking a trip to Japan. I’m also taking my brand new Nikon D40 digital SLR camera and telephoto lens. Expect great photos when I return as well as the occasional blog post directly from Japan. Check back here at least once a week and leave comments or messages for me in Comments at the end of the post. We fly out of Philly on December 12 and return just in time for New Years and the Mummer’s parade.

How do working class people such as The Fiends afford an extravagant trip such as this? It’s called a budget. I used direct deposit straight from my pay check into a credit union and deposited $50 a week for three years with no cheating — ever. I planned ahead and bought our plane tix over three months in advance of our trip to ensure a good price and a good flight (I hate getting up at 3am to go to the airport). We purchased this special pass for tourists  for unlimited travel on Japan Railways ($250 per week, per person). Yeah, the Bullet Train … here we come. It helped with $ to be able to purchase these things in advance.

How does a sustainable living advocate such as myself justify traveling halfway around the world for an adventure? I didn’t drive a car for an entire year to offset the carbon footprint of flying to Japan. Okay, my friends are laughing right now because they know I don’t even have a car (or drivers license). The Fiends ride their bikes to work, to the supermarket, to the party.  Day after day, year after year, our carbon footprint is the size of a baby’s foot (we have no air conditioner either). MORE

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