Saturday, February 9, 2013

A Green Chinese New Year

Clean and green Singapore is going even greener this Chinese New Year, recycling S$2 bills for red packets of money alongside the printing of new ones.

Giving out the little "hongbao" packets with crisp new notes during the Chinese New Year is a longstanding tradition. Adults typically give them to children, older relatives and unmarried siblings to wish them good luck for the coming year.

As well as printing millions of brand new S$2 notes as it has done in the past, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the wealthy Southeast Asian city-state's central bank, said it will issue older notes that look as good as new and encourage the public to use them.

"The accumulation of excess S$2 polymer notes and their destruction before the end of their lifespan is a waste of precious resources and is not environmentally friendly," the MAS said.

Singapore only needs around 50 million S$2 notes in circulation. Printing the excess notes just for the Chinese New Year consumes 10 metric tons of ink and uses enough electricity to power an entire apartment block for six months!

Most of the notes find their way back into the banks soon after the New Year festivities anyway, as people put them in their savings.

Find ways to stay green this Chinese New Year, whether it's ironing out notes for red packets, recycling after party waste or shopping locally for your family meals.

What we give, we get back! Xin Nian Kuai Le!

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