Hello everyone! This Melisa once again writing a new blog for CICLO. Today, I am introducing another wonderful lady living in Tokyo, Marisa Gelencsér. Marisa was born in Australia and has been living in Japan for over 15 years. She has two beautiful kids and actively participates in their school events and education. She and her family learned more about the current plastic problem in our oceans after watching “A Plastic Ocean” on Netflix. She then realized how little she knew about this issue and she felt the need to bring awareness and do her part to save our natural beauty. From there she started her own company called Eco Hachi right here in Tokyo! Learn more about her story below.
What does Eco Hachi do?
Marisa founded Eco Hachi in May 2018 after becoming aware of the damage single-use plastics were bringing to our oceans. She wanted to let people know how we can all begin to reduce our plastic consumption by making small but simple changes in our life. She had learned about the idea of beeswax wrap being used instead of plastic wrap when she visited her home back in Australia. She later began doing research on how she could make these items on her own and her business idea began from there. Marisa decided on the name Eco from ecological or earth-friendly and Hachi meaning bee or the number 8 (her lucky number) in Japanese. Since then she hand-makes beeswax wrap by only using products made in Japan (such as the Japanese cotton cloth and natural, organic beeswax) and makes sure that everything she uses is as sustainable and eco-friendly as possible (uses pine resin and a bit of organic jojoba oil for the final touch). Eco Hachi is not only her business brand but also a way for people to understand that there are alternatives to plastic.
Eco Hachi’s main goals
Marisa is running her business at her own pace. She doesn’t want Eco Hachi to be something that expands to a larger scale because she wants to make sure the place where she sources and produces her products are as transparent and clear as possible. She prefers to keep her company small, personal and sustainable by knowing exactly where each and every ingredient comes from and what goes into her each of her products. Marisa also understands that presently the idea of “zero-waste” is beginning to grow and expand into a trend which some producers are not really considering its true meaning deeply. In the end, whether or not people end up buying her products, she only hopes that after people see what she is trying to do, that they will begin to understand what “sustainability” truly means.
Change can begin from even the youngest in our generation
Marisa, being a mother of two herself, understands that educating our kids about our current global crisis is very important. Similar to how Greta Thunberg from Sweden, has brought awareness to younger generations about the climate change crisis, she knows kids have the power to change the world as well. Her children currently attend an International School in Tokyo and decided she wanted to bring awareness to these children too. She and three other moms from America, Canada, and the U.K. all believed that change can start even at a local school. Marisa and these moms created the group called EAS-Y GREEN. EAS-Y being the acronym for Educate, Act, Sustain and You. The group has led several small but effective changes at this school by educating the children of our current plastic problem. With the support of the school, these children were able to see a shorter educational version of “A Plastic Ocean”. The results were outstanding and all of the students began to ask what they could do to change our future. Kids are so susceptive, curious and willing to change if they know it will be for the good of our planet. The EAS-Y Team group has organized a fundraiser to fund new water fountains with refill stations for all of the children to use. In turn, the kids have received all of these changes with open arms and eagerness to continue to do their part to reduce their plastic waste. But, Marisa explained that the kids and parents are mostly all foreigners or Japanese people who have lived abroad but are now living in Japan. Unfortunately, due to the language barrier, she has not had the opportunity to reach out directly to Japanese kids and their parents from other schools. EAS-Y Green hopes to collaborate with more schools around Japan to make sure that all children know more about our current global environmental issues.
Some final words from Marisa to our readers
I wanted to close this post by ending with a short message from Marisa herself for all of our CICLO readers.
When you embark on this journey to be more sustainable, you can’t push yourself to be perfect. What is most important is coming to a realization of the problem and finding ways to reduce your negative impact on our natural environment. This is a process that takes time and small steps are the way to create change and bring a longstanding impact. Even if people just see or learn about my product, I hope that this will allow them to understand that there are alternative to using plastics. In this end, this is my main goal and purpose for bringing Eco Hachi to Japan.
If you want to learn more about Eco Hachi or her group EAS-Y GREEN please make sure to check out her links down below! She currently only takes orders for her beeswax wrap via Facebook or Instagram. I highly recommend buying her products! I myself bought a set of my own and I love them! Her designs are colorful, cute and aesthetically pleasing. She has three sets of different sizes ranging from extra small to extra large. Her designs are always changing so you know your product was uniquely handmade and designed by Marisa herself. Thanks again to Marisa for allowing me to introduce her story on CICLO! I hope to continue doing my best on this journey myself! I will see you all soon!