The annual Hungry Ghost Festival is arriving, but as environmental protection awareness rises, many local governments are trying to encourage the public to burn joss paper, or "ghost cash" offerings, in one central area. Hsinchu city even launched a special Ghost Festival hamper bag with reduced amounts of joss paper, and collaborated with convenience stores.
Environmental pollution is created every year when the public burns massive amounts of joss paper, or "ghost cash", offerings during the annual Hungry Ghost Festival. To encourage the public to collectively burn these offerings in one place, Hsinchu city launched a Ghost Festival hamper 2.0 named the "Thin Gold Bag", which contained a towel, rice, and reduced amounts of incense sticks and joss paper to help reduce the amount of joss paper burned.
The "Thin" in its name "Thin Gold Bag", comes from the thinness of joss paper and our hopes to reduce the amount of joss paper used. We hope the public can use this hamper to fulfill their needs to make offerings while maintaining the air quality and thus our wellbeing.
Furthermore, Hsinchu government also collaborated with convenience stores to allow the public to donate their "ghost cash" offering budget to charity groups, such that the public can replace burning joss paper with actual good deeds instead.
I think it's not bad. Mainly because it can help reduce air pollution. When burning joss paper, that smell is quite unpleasant.
Using the money to buy joss paper to donate to charities in need, this can help to fulfill the need to make offerings, while in the same time helping those in need.
According to the statistics, NT$ 134,700 was raised following the launch of this initiative. If 2.2 kilograms of joss paper can be purchased with NT$100, this means that 3,000 kilograms of joss paper, or a carbon emission of 4,445 kilograms, were reduced. Although there's still some room for improvement, this shows that there is a growing awareness among the public to reduce the burning of joss paper.