Small Hubei community has been free from fireworks for eight years (and loving it)

For eight years already now, a small workers’ residential community in Jingzhou, Hubei province has “quietly” been living a revolution. In 2005, errant fireworks caused a fire on a balcony in this community, and drawing the (painfully obvious yet in China excruciatingly absent) conclusion that fireworks on the whole just isn’t worth it, decided to ban the stuff altogether. As the front page of the Jingzhou Evening News reports today, for the last eight years Beiling has been living in a near nirvana-like state of calm and serenity. So can we all Learn from Beiling?

For eight now already, the small community of Beiling (北菱社区) in the district of Shashi (沙市区) in Jingzhou (荆州), Hubei province, has been fireworks-free, and the residents have not at all missed the noisy traditional accoutrements of every Spring Festival, wedding or funeral in China. In the estimation of its residents, Beiling has never been cleaner or more peaceful.

A reporter from Jingzhou Evening News (荆州晚报) yesterday ventured into the community of around 700 workers to get the lay of the land of this fireworks-free zone, and found the air nice and clean. At the main entrance of the community the reporter interviewed a few of the older residents who sat playing chess, and these informed him that eight years ago during the Spring Festival holiday, someone in Beiling was careless when shooting some fireworks and caused a fire on an apartment balcony. Fortunately no-one was injured, but at the time some of the residents were dismayed by the incessant cacophony from the crack of dawn to the middle of the night, and the “red carpet” of debris that would be left strewn everywhere every day.

So the community decided to henceforth ban all fireworks. And what was the result? A more peaceful environment, cleaner streets, less noise and ruckus, a greater sense of calm and security, and cleaner air. And not only this, as the residents informed the reporter, now during Spring Festival holidays people can leave their windows open and can freely engage with each other in all kinds of hearty activities without being disturbed. All the residents were in agreement that their community is so much better now.

The head of Beiling’s neighborhood committee put it succinctly: fireworks waste resources, pollute the environment, disturb everyone’s peace and are potentially dangerous – so why on earth would you have them?

So in the spirit of Learn from Daqing and Learn from Dazhai, it’s now time for China to Learn from Beiling.

Links and sources
Jingzhou Evening News (荆州晚报): 北菱社区8年不闻鞭炮声

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