Dragon boat fans or junkyard alchemists can earn up to NT$100,000 by making a green dragon boat from recycled materials such as empty drink bottles and discarded cardboard, the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) said yesterday.
The National Green Dragon Boat Competition, in which contestants spend weeks or even months collecting used or recycled materials ranging from aluminum cans and plastic bottles to real estate flyers and Styrofoam to make their dragon boats — such as used DVD “dragon scales” or colorful straw dragon whiskers — is in its 10th year this year.
Originating in Hualien County, the competition spread to Taichung City, becoming an annual event two years ago, said EPA Minister Stephen Shen (沈世宏), who dressed up as the Dragon Emperor while sitting in a green dragon boat at the press conference yesterday.
“We wish to promote this event to people around Taiwan, because this is an event that combines the spirit of traditional dragon boats with the innovative idea of environmental protection,” Shen said.
The boats must sport impressive exteriors, but also be able to float from one end of a standard-length swimming pool to the other with at least two people in them. Winners will be eligible for prizes.
Though the mission is not easy, the number of boats at this year’s competition is expected to be high.
“This year’s top prize in the Hualien competition will be increased from last year’s NT$50,000 to NT$100,000,” Shen said.
Interested parties must sign up for the Hualien competition by this Thursday, or the Taichung competition by May 12, Shen said, adding that the races would occur at Hualien’s Parkview Hotel on May 16 and in Taichung on May 23.