Several cities and counties are coming up with "creative" solutions to deal with air pollution with the approach of Ghost Month, the seventh month of the lunar calendar when local people burn a great deal of paper "ghost money," a tradition that creates even more smog and pollution than usual.
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.
Those people who need the service can send their paper money to district offices and the environmental protection bureau will collect, transport and burn it.
The seventh month of the Chinese lunar calendar is called Ghost Month as the superstitious believe ghosts and spirits come out from the "lower world" to visit earth. This year's Ghost Month falls between July 25 and Aug. 23.
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