Tips for a low-carbon green Ching Ming
1. Use public transport to travel to and from the grave sites.
2. Use the grave sweeping as an opportunity to clear away any rubbish around the grave area - not add to it.
3. When you burn your offerings, make sure all fires, including low-burning incense sticks that can still spark fire, are completely extinguished before you leave (make sure you have sufficient water with you to do this).
4. Keep a look out and take action if you see any fires developing in the countryside. Fire beaters can be found at major burial sites.
5. Make sure all the offerings you leave behind at the grave are bio-degradable and remember to take all your rubbish home with you. Discarded plastic bags, string and bottles found littering rural graveyards after Ching Ming do not show respect to your loved ones.
6. Keep your paper offerings as simple as you can. In recent years there has been an increasing trend to burn a wide range of modern amenities and luxury items in paper form such as mobile phones, PDAs, MP3s, computers, designer handbags - all for the enjoyment of the ancestors in their other world. This modern spin on an old tradition just adds to the waste and environmental degradation.
7. In rural areas, consider planting a suitable tree or shrub as a show of respect to your ancestor and the environment, and be ready to tend it in future years. This is more environmentally friendly than applying large quantities of concrete and ceramic tiles to the area.