Life with Tiger Bottles...What did you learn from it? Interview with Mr. Akira Toyoshima, Wheelchair Basketball Player

Mr. Akira Toyoshima, a wheelchair basketball player, has been working as a Tiger Ambassador since April 2021. In this interview, we asked Mr. Toyoshima about his life with Tiger Bottles and his thoughts on sustainability.

©Keiichi Nitta(ota office)

Mr. Toyoshima was introduced to wheelchair basketball by a teacher at a school for the disabled when he was in junior high school. From 2016 to 2018, he played in the German league. He is the captain of the Japanese men's national team. He has been working for WOWOW since April 2015.

The concept behind the bottle
triggered a deeper awareness of the issue.

Q.First of all, please tell us why you were interested in becoming a Tiger Bottle Ambassador.

I have always liked the design and functionality of Tiger's bottles and coffee makers. That's one of the reasons why the call for Tiger Bottle Ambassadors caught my attention. At that time, I saw in detail how Tiger was tackling environmental issues as a company and became interested.

Q.What exactly attracted your interest?

First of all, in terms of Tiger's "Four Promises", I felt sympathy for "NO plastic waste (reduction of plastic)," which I am most familiar with and am actually aware of. Also, each color of the Tiger Custom Bottle has its own concept, doesn't it? When I saw that, it was also a great opportunity for me to deepen my understanding of social issues. Since I was already using the product, I wanted to send something to consumers.

"The concept of "contributing to the space business
I felt a sense of hope for the future.

Q.You are currently using the Tiger Custom Bottle "Silver MOON" (350ml). Is there any particular reason why you chose silver?

I had a lot of trouble deciding on the color. "POLAR BEAR (white) is for global warming, HONU (cobalt blue) is for ocean pollution, etc. Each of them made me think about their respective issues, and I thought all the colors were stylish. I chose silver because the concept of "contributing to the space business" gave me a straightforward sense of hope for the future, and it was linked to my own sense of values. Also, when I thought about the clothes I would wear on a daily basis and the situations in which I would use it, I thought that the color would fit in easily with my daily life. These are the two reasons.

When I travel by car
I bring a bottle of coffee with me.

Q.What kind of situations do you mainly use it for now?

When I go to basketball camps, etc., I mainly travel by car, so I often carry a bottle of coffee with me. I don't drink that much, so 350ml is a good size for me. I chose the "antibacterial water bottle with one-push" design. It is easy to use because I can open it with one hand and drink.

I also use it at home. I often use it to make coffee at home, and it is very convenient because it keeps the coffee cold. I can keep it close at hand and drink it cold at any time, so I don't have to go to the refrigerator to get a drink.

I originally had a large 500mL stainless steel bottle, so I use it when I have a long trip in the car, and use it for different occasions.

I experienced the "norm" in Germany,
which led to my habit of being environmentally conscious.

Q.Other than carrying your own bottle, what other "sustainable" habits do you have now?

I don't have any special habits that I am conscious of, but I always carry my own bag with me when I go shopping, and I naturally buy refillable products whenever possible.

Q.By the way, was there any reason why you started to be conscious of these actions?

There was a time in 2016 when I was playing in Germany, and I was living in Germany for the fall and winter. Germany has a high level of environmental awareness, and I felt that sustainable initiatives would probably become the norm in Japan as well.

For example, they have a recycling deposit system where you can exchange your empty plastic bottles and juice bottles for money when you bring them to the supermarket. It was also common for people to carry their own bags.

In Japan, these things are becoming more and more common, but perhaps it is because I experienced this "normality" in Germany that I am able to make it a habit without resistance.

One's own actions are "small things".
But it will lead to the world.

Q.Is there anything that you would like to tell people about your sustainable activities in the future?

Even though it is becoming more and more popular, not everyone has their own bottle or bag, right? There are people around me who find it a hassle to wash their own bottles or feel embarrassed to carry their own bags. I would like to convey to such people the importance of environmentally friendly behavior.。

This is because I myself became aware of the importance of carrying a bottle with a sustainable message on it.

Q. What do you mean by that?

I think that environmental and social problems are too big to be vaguely imagined. Even though we understand in our minds that it is important to be aware of the issues, it is quite difficult to incorporate them into our daily lives. But I realized that if you have any ideas, you should take action and it will be good for you.

When you think about it on a global scale, the actions of each of us are very "small", aren't they? However, I was able to recognize once again that by connecting myself to the people around me, and then to the world, I will eventually be able to solve the problems of the earth.
I hope that I can convey to the people around me that we all need to do our part, including my own realization.