Where Christmas Lights Go to Die

Illustration for article titled Where Christmas Lights Go to Die

Welcome to Shijiao. It's a bustling town in China that just so happens to be the unofficial capital of dead and unwanted Christmas lights. According to The Atlantic, 20 million pounds of old Christmas lights make it through Shijao every year. What the heck for?

Advertisement

The answer: slippers. The plastic and rubber that is used in Christmas lights wiring can also be re-purposed into slippers and other materials in China. Hence, the demand. Basically, China has figured out how to capitalize and find new life in our seasonal decorations. People who recycle the Christmas lights, separate the plastic wrap that insulates the copper wire and sells it independently from each other. On one end you have copper (which is plenty valuable) and on the other side you have the re-usable plastic. The process of getting there is not unlike panning for gold in the modern age.

Check out the whole report on the afterlife of Christmas lights over at The Atlantic. Definitely interesting. [The Atlantic]

DISCUSSION

Ogami
Ogami

My parents gave up on buying and putting up Christmas decoration years ago, since I was 12. I was not happy with their decision... But they were trying to save money so they can finish paying off the mortgage faster. And they did pay off the mortgage before age of 55. Wise decision of them and they taught me a good lesson on how to save money and the lesson of "not buying things that's un-necessary".

Do I really need to buy xbox360 when I don't spend much time on TV gaming (plus I already got a PS3)? Or the box of Gundam model that I will never touch? Or Christmas tree that I do not look at (my girl friend doesn't care either)? Or that very good looking and fast Subaru STI... (man, I want that car). :P

My dad always says today we live in a society that's very wasteful and too commercialized...