Text by Zhong He
The use of methane is already popularized amongst a third of farming households, solar heat pumps are employed for tobacco toasting, and several industrial zones have been committed to developing recycling. To the untrained eye, Songxian County in Henan Province may appear as a typical Chinese rural area, but it has been working remarkably to build a successful model of low-carbon countryside.
In October 2010, the state-level impoverished county was designated as a pilot area for sustainable development, in honor of its firm adherence to the practice of a low-carbon lifestyle.
"Before we started using marsh gas, every year we used more than 2,000 kilograms of firewood for cooking alone," recalls Li Junhua, a villager of Quli in Songxian´s Fanpo Township. "Burning wood required longer cooking times and considerably more effort, as well as enduring dust and heavy smoke. Back then, every village household raised pigs, and sewage from the pig pens drained directly into our ditches or watercourses, which caused a horrible odor when it rained." Today, thanks to the construction of methane tanks, all of these problems are history. "Our kitchens, toilets, and yards are clean, and even mosquitoes and flies are rarities," adds Li.......