The New Year
Every country has it’s own way of ringing in the new year and Taiwan is no different. The transition into 2019 was altered at Taipei 101, the world’s second largest building, to make the celebration healthier for the environment. A reduced carbon footprint was accomplished through fewer fireworks and the use of a LED screen to supplement the fireworks with animations.
Much of what led to these changes in the celebration operations was due to Taiwanese environmental groups who criticized the fireworks for its affect on their air quality. In recent years, Taiwan has had a growing problem with poor air quality and the show has been the target for many as a way to reduce this health dilemma. The mayor of Taipei City informed the general public that the main focus should be the yearlong activities that increase carbon footprints, not the small window of time when they celebrate the coming of the New Year.
Every year the designers and pyrotechnicians prepare for the New Year’s Eve show by December 28. 2017’s show required the use of 30,000 fireworks; this year that number dwindled to 16,000 fireworks. The T-pad, a 55-story-tall mesh screen with 140,000 LED’s, is used in conjunction with the fireworks to provide more creativity and content for visitors. The T-pad is currently on one side of Taipei 101 but, Andy Yang, head of corporate branding and communications, says they are hoping to extend it to the other sides of the building in the future. The building also has an “all lights off” policy, meaning that all exterior lights are turned off before and after the show to further assist in lessening the carbon emissions produced by the event.
Taipei 101 is a special building due to it being one of the tallest LEED-certified buildings in the world and represents how small changes can greatly affect our environment and our livelihood. Many people who have never seen the iconic celebration for New Year’s Eve at Taipei 101 may not understand the true expenses behind such a gathering. This year’s show cost around $1.96 million USD and that was with the lower quantity of fireworks and the T-pad usage. The cost may be shocking but this total is with fewer pyrotechnicians on the payroll.
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Cheyann is a reporter at GoldenGOAT Articles that specializes in lifestyle, innovation, environment and the health care industry. After graduating high school with high honors in science and mathematics, she went on to college to specialize in biomedical engineering.