Mottainai! もったいない

I just made a language discovery that is right up my alley! Today, I discovered the Japanese expression “mottainai”, which means “What a waste!”. The concept around it is the same as “Waste not, want not!” in English. I like this concept more than “zero waste”, which sounds so intimidating and hard to reach!

Check out this great song to introduce the concept to elementary aged students!

Here’s a cute and funny cartoon to use, too!

How did I come across “Mottainai”?

I decided to finally try my hand at making tofu. We’d bought some organic soy beans some time ago, but I was so busy with my MOOC on Marine Litter and teaching, I didn’t have much time to research making it or actualy doing it.

Now that my Final Assignment has been handed in, I can learn some other new skills.

I came across a wonderful recipe for making tofu on YouTube – as well as making soy milk from scratch. Thank you, Mary’s Kitchen for providing such great instructions.

As a result of the process, I was left with okara, the fibrous part of the soy bean after you blend the bean and strain off the milk.

By the way, did you know that they grow organic soy beans in France? Neither did I, until recently! Another reason to love living in France!

It was while learning about okara that I came across the concept of mottainai.

I try to reuse a lot of things, but I’ve already learnt a thing or two from the Japanese. Thanks to modern technology, we can learn how to reuse and repurpose from other cultures.

Arigatōgozaimashita! I can’t wait to continue my learning journey!

P.S: Did you know that there is a Japanese – English edition of “Wayan and the Turtle King”? It’s called “Wayan to kame no ōsama: ワヤンとカメの王さま” , available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Open Trolley, Chapters Indigo

P.P.S: Please remember to check out my website for more lesson plans and blog posts.

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