I should like to buy some attractive go equipment and am wondering which choices are ethically acceptable, whereby I imagine that sustainability of ecosystems is more or less the only significant issue.
Can anyone give me any suggestions as to how far I can responsibly go, or information to take into account?
High-quality equipment is made from various natural materials such as:
- Slate for the black stones.
- Clam shells for the white stones. (I am not sure about the species.)
- Spruce, katsura, bamboo or kaya wood for the boards. (One piece, c. 42mm × 45mm × 15mm)
- Mulberry, quince (karin in Japanese), kaya, cherry, keyaki or rosewood for better and beech, chestnut or bamboo for cheaper bowls.
The cheaper alternatives are:
- Glass or plastic for stones.
- Cheaper wood, plywood or plastic for boards and bowls.
I fear that the more pleasing the equipment, especially the stones, the worse their impact is, though probably many natural materials are better than plastic. Once bought, the equipment would of course have a long lifetime and, I hope, be passed on after my death.
I suspect that the slate is not a great problem, bamboo even less, some trees more so and clam shells the greatest.
To quote the Wikipedia article: Due to a single clam shell yielding only a limited number of stones (around three), white stones are expensive to produce. The clamshells used to make the white stones used to be farmed from Japan, but since the supply is dwindling, most clamshells are harvested from Baja California in Mexico. Go stones are lens-shaped, 22mm diameter and vary in thickness from 4mm to 12.8mm, high quality tends to mean at least 7mm; one needs about 180 white (and 181 black) stones.
(With a significant impact on the information presented)
2018-05-16 20:30 Mussel (a mistranslation) replaced by clam (species still unclear).