Mon, Nov 12, 2007 - Page 2 News List

EPA and supporters celebrate 9th year of green lifestyle


Thousands of environmental volunteers in a number of cities and counties yesterday celebrated the Environmental Protection Administration's (EPA) ninth year of low-carbon lifestyle.

"A low-carbon lifestyle means that you walk or bike instead of driving, recycle and reuse instead of disposing, plant more trees and use energy-conserving electric appliances in your home," Environmental Protection Administration Minister Winston Dang (陳重信) said at one of the celebrations in Banchiao, Taipei County, yesterday.

The low-carbon program was started by the EPA in 1998 to involve community volunteers in cleaning their neighborhoods.

When the program started, there were only a few hundred volunteers.

Their number has since grown to 150,000. Taipei County Bureau of Environmental Protection staffer Lin Yi-chen (林依蓁) said.

In addition to living low-carbon lifestyles, volunteers regularly participate in activities such as street sweeping and garbage sorting, she said.

Yesterday's event included several stalls showcasing greener products, from socks made of recycled PET bottles, children's rocking horses mad with old wooden furniture, to shopping bags made out of banners and flags.

At one stall, Ecomax Textile representative Ko Hsi-che (柯溪哲) showed a group of volunteers socks and shopping bags made from recycled PET bottles.

"PET bottles permeate the soft drink market today because they are light, cheap and sanitary, but they take hundreds of years to biodegrade," Ko said

"Our company has been working on giving the bottles second lives and turning them into something useful and environmentally friendly," he said.

On the Taipei County Government's recent proposal to lower carbon emission by having some government employees work four days a week instead of five, some volunteers felt it would decrease the efficiency of the government.

"Also, if [government employees] drive their cars somewhere during their extra day off, the carbon emission problem will remain," a volunteer commented.

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