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Reusable Chopsticks to the Rescue
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Reusable Chopsticks to the Rescue

Tags: August, China, chopsticks, forest

Posted December 8, 2011 by maryzakrasek

What Will You Choose to Do?
Don’t think changing Just One Thing can make a difference? In China, every year…. 57 billion pairs of chopsticks are used ONE TIME…then thrown away. That’s 130 million chopsticks every day!  

How many trees does it take to make that many chopsticks?  

In China alone…3.8 million trees per year…that’s 100 football-size fields of trees that are being cut down every day…1 every 10 seconds.

At this rate, predictions are that China’s forests will be gone by 2020. Kang Dahu, a Chinese citizen, not

“Just imagine, years from now, when my grandchildren ask me what happened to all of China’s trees, I’ll have to say, ‘We made them into chopsticks.’ Isn’t that pitiful?”

And, in fact, China is now importing chopsticks from the USA…it’s true! 

The Amazon Rainforest is also taking a hit as described by Dr. Roger Mustalish, Amazon researcher and protector:

“I have seen magnificent trees being cut in the Amazon to be made into disposable chopsticks for fast-food restaurants in Asia. Did you know that when a large 150-foot-high tree like the kaypok is cut, it will often result in up to 1,000 other, smaller trees being felled as it falls? Yet these other 1,000 trees have no commercial value and are left to rot.”

So, let’s get this straight…every day millions of chopsticks are being tossed into the trash for the sake of convenience…and forests are being destroyed?

Well, it’s never quite that simple. The unsanitary conditions are a great concern and, without a Health Department in place to check on vendors and restaurants, people don’t trust chopsticks unless they’re freshly packaged. With disposables readily available and cheap or free, things are not going to change.

Definitely an Eco-Challenge…and one worth pursuing.

So, here’s it is: Join the BYOC grassroots movement young people in China have started….that’s Bring Your Own Chopsticks! To bring attention to the issue, Ogilvy Beijing and Greenpeace teamed up to display a “chopstick forest” where viewers pledged their commitment. Watch the Video:

Make a statement of your own by refusing one-use chopstick and utensils.

The most cost-effective, safe and simple solution is a pair of stainless steel chopsticks in a travel case. To use, you simply screw the two pieces together and you're all set. I must admit, I envisioned using these for Asian foods, but when I put them together, I realized that I could easily carry them in my purse and use them for any foods. They're priced at around $5.00...that's a great price for a lifetime of use.  We wish they were in a more sustainable case rather than the aluminum alloy one they come in.  But, using these is such a simple thing to do to save so many trees...they could be called the  “No Excuses” Chopsticks.  




What's stopping you from using reusable utensils?   Let's turn the heat up on the Chopstick Challenge!