Thursday, July 20, 2006

Clean Air for Ghost Month?

With Ghost Month coming up, municipalities are searching for ways to reduce the air pollution from thousands of people burning ghost money at the same time:

Kaohsiung City's "burn paper money collectively" drive is now entering its fourth year. It will again cooperate with Kaohsiung County and Pingtung County to promote collective burning.

Kaohsiung City environmental protection officials said that more local citizens have come to accept the new idea, adding that the paper burned under the program increased to 219 tonnes last year from only 50 tonnes in the first year of the drive in 2003. It is estimated that 2,413 kg of hanging particles and 26,538 kg of carbon monoxide were cut last year.

The officials also said that a "doing good deeds to replace burning paper ghost money" program received an enthusiastic response in the first year following its launch last year and that they plan to expand the program this year.

Local people are urged to donate the money they would use to buy paper to charitable organizations instead.

The Taichung City Government also decided to provide a free service to do the burning for the public.

Time to introduce "ghost credit cards".....

Also, remember, if you want to make a big purchase, things are often cheaper during ghost month, which is traditionally not an auspicious time to buy things. And finally, if you are feeling sanctimonious about how much pollution burning all that cash generates, just remember how much fossil fuel is burnt to light Christmas trees and Christmas lights in the States. Just because we don't see that pollution up close and personal, doesn't mean that it ceases to exist.


Anonymous said...

I love that. "Ghost credit cards."

Anonymous said...

Such things must be faced; as one who remembers the nostalgic sense of the smell and smoke of burning leaves in the Indian summer and fall in the USA it was hard to give up. But I hope the ghosts will acknowledge the needs of the environment.

Anonymous said...

you are way cuter when not talking about politics.

David said...

There really needs to be a ban on this at all times of the year. I know it is deeply imbedded in Taiwanese culture, but with so many people living in such a small place breathing clean air is more important.

Anonymous said...

This is the Taiwanese equivalent of M*A*S*H* re-runs. Unfortunately this promise seems to be made and broken every year.