There were number of people using an orange umbrella in Shibuya (Tokyo) the morning of 1st March. It was for the launch promotion for orange flavor mints. Not only was it visually interesting, but also they are going to give the umbrellas to the “Shibukasa Project” after the launch event which is really cool idea.
“Shibukasa Project” was established by a group of university students in Tokyo – taking advantage of a “community currency” system (The Earth Day Money system) already in place in Shibuya Ward. This project is to reuse discarded plastic umbrellas and by returning a Shibukasa — which can be identified by a sky-blue umbrella logo — to a cafe or other store that keeps them, the borrower will receive Earth Day Money, which is accepted at some establishments in the ward.
The Earth Day Money system is run by the nonprofit organization Earth Day Money Association. The currency, which can be obtained through volunteer services (number of selected NPO projects to do a good things for the earth like picking up trash etc..), is good at more than 70 member eateries and shops mainly in Shibuya Ward. It can be used for partial payment of items or redeemed for desserts, herbal teas and the like. Community currency has been circulating in Shibuya since 2001.
I think quite interesting idea to combine the promotion with the Shibukasa project which is already incorporated into the Earth Money System to raise awareness of recycling but also bring the community closer together.