Posters are popping up everywhere in Japan to promote the conservation of energy after last week’s earthquake disrupted energy production. Even areas that were spared from major damage, such as Tokyo, are faced with scheduled blackouts as Japan strives to cope with less electricity. These power cuts will likely continue for some time, disrupting lives throughout a major part of the country. And these posters are embracing one small but significant way in which every person can help.

Many of the posters share a message: The quickest and simplest way to help now is to conserve energy. Join relief efforts by hitting the switch.

Individual effort adds up. The result is a collective impact.

For all of us who are far away from a country and a people we care deeply about, it can be very frustrating to watch everything unfold without being able to take action. Right now, there’s not much I can do but let my friends in Japan know that I am thinking of them. That and make a donation to the Red Cross. It is a small gesture, but it is what I can do now that will have the most impact.

If you would like to assist with relief efforts, donations can be made to the various organizations responding to the disaster. InterAction has an extensive listing, or you can look into other community efforts such as the National JETAA USA Fund, created to reach out to all JET Alumni Associations and former JETs in the country.

Everyone can make a difference. Designers are doing their share by creating beautiful posters, and many are available for anyone to download and use. More posters can be viewed at http://setsuden.tumblr.com.

The poster below encourages people in Japan with this message: Share what you can; buy only what you need; conserve energy.