Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Won't Miss #69 - New Year's Waste

The temples and shrines in Japan have a system designed to help them sell as many good luck charms and New Year's items as possible each year. The way it works is that people are told that they must burn everything from the previous year or they will suffer bad luck. This results in huge piles of last year's flotsam being destroyed in highly polluting fires and essentially wastes the materials that went into the items in the first place. Many of the charms are identical in appearance or very similar in design from year to year, so no one would need to buy new ones if the "luck" held out forever.

I won't miss seeing the waste and pollution that results from capitalizing on people's superstitions.

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