Every economic change will have a different impact on the ecology. We may be hard to detect these changes. It is undeniable that ecology and resources have been changing silently. Since the beginning of the 21st century, the development of the e-commerce economy and the take-out economy has brought convenience to us, while a large number of express packaging and transportation logistics have also put pressure on the environment and consumed a lot of resources.
During the Two Sessions Meetings, which ended recently, the “Street Stall Economy”, which had long disappeared, was once again proposed by the state as an important measure to restore the economy in the post-COVID-19 period. So, how will the rise of the street stall affect the ecology? Let’s hear what Dr. Zhou Jinfeng, the Secretary-General of China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation (CBCGDF) thinks.
Recently, “street stall” has become hot again, and everyone is talking about it. I am very happy about this, and even want to clap and cheer. Why? What are the benefits of opening up stalls? From the perspective of people’s livelihood, the opening of street stalls has facilitated many commuters. On the way home, a little piece of time can solve many problems. Buy some needed living debris and repair some broken small parts. From the employment point of view, the low threshold of “street stall economy” can solve a large number of employment problems.
From the perspective of social security, the legalization of stalls can greatly reduce illegal behavior and administrative costs. This number is definitely not a small number, because street stalls are available all over the country, and they are distributed in every street. Due to the strict supervision system, in the past crackdown on “street stalls activities”, the industry, commerce, taxation and urban management departments need to spend a lot of time to deal with these problems, consuming a lot of manpower, material resources and funds. Not only that, the conflict of views, social conflicts, and contradictions between different groups caused by it are even more harmful. The recovery of the “street stall economy” has solved all these problems.
So, is such a good street stall economy really good and harmless? I think so. But why has it been banned in the past?
First of all, authoritative people think it is not good-looking. Secondly, some people think that street stalls sell counterfeit goods on a large scale, causing chaos in the market, etc. These have all been proposed as reasons for banning street stalls. However, I think that these are not enough reasons to oppose the street stall economy. In response to the problem that operating street stalls affects the beauty of the city, the Chinese government has also put forward a new understanding: it is necessary to improve planning and management capabilities, and must not only save effort and ban it. As for the brand and quality of the products sold by street stalls, here I also want to put forward different views. The products of street stalls and the products of high-end brand stores are not the same type of products themselves: they are also aimed at different objects. Before purchasing, we already had an expectation for its price and quality, which satisfied the needs of consumers of different classes.
Of course, in addition to the advantages mentioned above, the “street stall economy” brings the most important and most often overlooked ecological significance to what I want to talk about. In the era of industrial civilization, productivity has rapidly increased, and we can almost easily buy all the things we need. At the same time, our consumption concept has also undergone a subtle change. We no longer want to repair those broken things, but just want to buy new things to replace broken things… Under the impact of the “new” wave, the shouts in the alleys that were often heard when we were young, and the mobile stalls that recycle waste items have gradually faded out of sight.
The economic value of the broken thing itself is not high, but the environmental cost of consuming several of these broken things together is much greater. Nowadays, people can clearly feel that the repair industry is disappearing under the trend of “abandon the old for the new”. But the return of the street stalls may be a new opportunity for these craftsmen who have been neglected for too long.
Today, we are talking about street stalls, which is a slightly broader brand concept. It includes all unstable small-scale operations that rely on their own power. For example, some people may feel that the recycling of waste products in the residential areas’ community may not be good for the environment, but I feel that such a community is very good. Because this is the recycling of materials, which is a model of ecological civilization.
In addition to this kind of vendors who make a living by operating street stalls, there is also a type of “temporary” street stalls. For example, during the graduation season, there are many street stalls on campus that sell books that the owners no longer use, or in the form of voluntary donations, while others can bargain and obtain their favorite books at a low price. In this way, a book is read twice, and the damage to the ecological environment is doubled. If a book can be reused more times, it will be a huge contribution to the environment. As we all know, there are garage sale or yard sale activities abroad.
Making the best use of everything is the most important basic idea of environment and ecology. Whether it is a garage sale abroad or a street stalls in China, it can reflect this concept. This is why I strongly support the development of China’s street stall economy.
Some people think that the return of the street stall economy is a “temporary measure” to increase employment and improve people’s livelihood during the COVID-19 period. I am very worried about this, and I hope it is a permanent measure. Of course, the development of an industry needs to be decided by the market, demand and people. From a legislative point of view, we can make a big “good law”, so that those once gingerly vendors no longer fear, but openly, legally, and run an organized business. We hope that not only street stalls, all small and micro enterprises should be exempted from business registration and tax registration. Of course, we also support the control of the occupation of roads in special locations. However, as much as possible to achieve the market to rejuvenate its own vitality, and make full use of these potential market resources, will bring great convenience to people, so that people’s satisfaction and happiness have been greatly improved.
We call for the sustainable development of the street stalls economy, which not only meets the goal of governing for the people, bringing convenience and benefits to society and the people, but also giving full play to the power of the people to let resources flow and increase the utilization of resources, to let nature play its efficiency. This is the important connotation contained in the thought of ecological civilization in the era of ecological civilization.
(This article is organized according to the speaker’s dictation.)
(Video credit: CBCGDF)
Original Chinese article: