BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET
Oak Maedow Phuket BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET Kata Rocks
The Phuket News Novosti Phuket Khao Phuket

Login | Create Account | Search


Taiwan lantern makers go green

TAIWAN: As Taiwan lights up for the start of its annual lantern festival this weekend, one eco-friendly craftsman is breaking with tradition.

environmentpollutiontransportculture
By AFP

Saturday 18 February 2017, 02:00PM


One of Lin Chow-chin’s lantern designs at an exhibition in Yilan, eastern Taiwan. Photo: AFP

One of Lin Chow-chin’s lantern designs at an exhibition in Yilan, eastern Taiwan. Photo: AFP

Lantern-maker Lin Chow-chin is part of a growing movement on the island to make the celebrations greener, creating sustainable lights which can be converted into everything from desk lamps to flower vases.

Each year huge electric sculptures go on display in Taiwan’s major cities, children carry tiny disposable lanterns and the skies fill with floating lights for the festival that marks the end of two weeks of Lunar New Year festivities.

Environmentalists say used lanterns are not properly recycled and pile up as rubbish, while batteries inside them contain hazardous chemicals that cause pollution.

Lin hopes to help combat the problem by creating lanterns which owners will want to keep rather than discard.

He experimented with making them in his youth and even considered exporting them as a business – but gave up the dream for a steady post office job.

After retiring seven years ago, Lin reignited his passion – with a new twist.

“I don’t want to see lantern-making become a fading art so hopefully the creative, environmental and practical aspects can appeal to more young people,” he tells AFP.

Lin’s colourful lanterns come in a range of shapes and sizes, some using recycled paper, leaves and plant fibres.

His main aim is to make them reusable.

Lin has patented a removable plastic stopper that connects to a light bulb inside the lantern.

When the bulb is taken out, users can connect the stopper to a water bottle and recycle the lantern as a vase.

Some of the lantern frames are made from self-assembled cardboard cut-outs which Lin says are popular with students as they can be used as pen holders, and come with spare parts that can be modelled into sculptures and business card holders.

It is still a small business and Lin makes all the lanterns himself from home, selling around 800 a year by word of mouth.

ZENITHY POOL VILLAS

But interest in his art has seen him conduct workshops across Taiwan and stage exhibitions in Hong Kong and mainland China.

“It’s rewarding to see my students embrace my ideals and come up with their own creations,” says Lin.

Campaigners say they do not want the lantern festival to disappear, just to improve.

Liu Jyh-jian, Vice Director of the Taiwan Environmental Protection Union, says the focus should be on the “content, not the size” of the celebrations.

Taiwan’s tourism bureau, which sponsors the island’s biggest lantern celebrations, featuring huge electric lights in the shape of zodiac animals, says the creations are now being “adopted” after the festival, mostly by schools and local government departments.

Environmental authorities are also urging the public to recycle batteries used in small hand-held lanterns – last year they generated an estimated 3.79 tonnes of waste.

Mountainous Pingshi town in northern Taiwan is at the vanguard of the new green push.

Special hiking groups head out into the hills to retrieve thousands of floating lanterns which are released into the sky then fall to earth.

Authorities there are also offering cash or small gifts as rewards for recycling.

Hu Min-shu, a veteran sky lantern maker who uses recycled materials and is head of an association promoting the craft in Pingshi, says up to 90 % of used lanterns are now recycled there.

“Of course, we hope to achieve a 100% recycling rate,” he says.

“The whole town is mobilised.”

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

CAPTCHA

Be the first to comment.

 

Have a news tip-off? Click here

 

Phuket community
Phuket’s 24 piers get green light as all tourism-related businesses allowed to reopen

Kurt is correct..Italy for example opens travel for all European countries, Spain and others followi...(Read More)


Songkran substitute possible in July: CCSA

@Galong Who says water splashing events would be allowed ?...(Read More)


Big push for domestic tourism

A lot of thai 'pumping around money' is going to take place, not generating 'income mone...(Read More)


Phuket commerce president surprised, but welcomes move to reopen hotels

Chamber of Commerce President surprised that Phuket Governor 'silently' opened the Phuket to...(Read More)


Offshore health checks for returning Thai crew

@Dek, is this your 'comment' on a article in The Phuket News? ...(Read More)


Phuket’s 24 piers get green light as all tourism-related businesses allowed to reopen

@Pascale. Yes, foreign people all over Europe already booking their summer holidays in european cou...(Read More)


Phuket hotels allowed to reopen

@ DeK, BangkokPost published that 70% of the THAI shareholders are foreign....(Read More)


Hopes riding high for Phuket airport to reopen mid-June

Nice for many workers that Phuket airports opens 15 June. But from where the 'High riding Hopes&...(Read More)


Hopes riding high for Phuket airport to reopen mid-June

What's the problem with dogs? This is Buddhist nation where dogs are regarded in Buddhist though...(Read More)


Phuket hotels allowed to reopen

wow some people have an inflated importance about themselves, given that local customs and tradition...(Read More)