Mainichi is one of the leading newspaper groups in Japan. Their main publication mainichi shimbun (literally Daily Newspaper) is printed in multiple editions daily and the publication group also publishes books, journals etc.
To commemorate Greenery day, (みどりの日), generate a bucket load of publicity, sell a few newspapers and, um, save the world, the mainichi group launched a special edition green newspaper which was widely distributed on the day that was once celebrated as emperor's birthday but has since been changed to a holiday that commemorates nature. I know. Your country is just a backwater in comparison. So is mine. But let's move on.
Well, gimmick or not, the move towards Green Newspaper was kind of inspiring (I did say gimmick, right?).
The idea was that the newspaper, implanted with seeds, can be planted after reading. It's not going to grow any money or that elusive Japanese citizenship I've been craving, but it will contribute to the greening of our world. And the almost five million newspapers that were distributed on that day encouraged a lot of weedy looking flowers, erm I mean greenery to be planted and grown. And not at all at the expense of any trees that may have been felled to print the newspapers in the first place.
It's a cute idea I think, which is appealing and will have struck the right level of novelty value to make an impact with people. There has been a similar idea floating around about cigarette butts (which kinda makes more sense, seeing how prevalent they are on the ground and how expensive tobacco has become) but this is the feel good story of the year.
Thing is when I see trash lying around the streets in Italy, it's not often newspapers. It's supermarket catalogues, mattresses, plumbing crap and, like, food and drink containers that are discarded everywhere. We need to plant those seeds in that stuff and see what happens.
Still, if you need yet more proof that Japan is the world's most superior nation (as if I haven't given you enough proof in the past) then watch the promo video. It's amazing! I love the way that Japanese minimalism has reduced the world's biggest environmental issues down to problems that can be solved by planting a couple of ripped up pieces of yeterday's news printed in sexy kanji and hiragana characters with a touch of green cursive.
Amazing video here.