How do so many ‘disposable’ ideas stick around? Usually until a better, reusable one comes along. Case in point…
Year after year, the ‘old math’ isn’t very pretty. 11,000 sq.miles of forest minus 3.8 million trees equals 57 billion pairs of disposable chopsticks (plus the paper wrapping). There’s more…
Despite their organic makeup, it’s estimated that more than 90% of disposables, whether from home or restaurant tables, end up in landfill. Trees into trash? So 20th century.
Of course, reusable chopsticks are nothing new. However, today’s next-gen versions are better, ‘greener’ and simply make more sense (and business cents). The trick is to get them into the right hands.
ChopSwap is a community campaign that helps turn local restaurants and their customers into zero-waste heroes.
Local restaurants can swap their stock of disposables for a ‘toolkit’ solution, including table-top bins, branded marketing materials, social media promotion/support and a set of premium reusable chopsticks.
Via social media + conventional channels, local restaurant customers will be invited to ‘trade up’ their private stock of take-out chopsticks at the ChopSwap ‘station’ at regular community events, from farmers markets to food truck festivals. It will also offer family ‘combo specials,’ school programs and related stuff. All hands-on…
All swapped + reclaimed chopsticks will be donated to local school arts programs, crafters and other creative initiatives (or sent to compost).
ChopSwap is a zero-waste program that’s fun, engaging and educational. It encourages people of all ages to take responsibility for waste, and helps them feel good about the benefits flowing to the community.
And those benefits have ongoing appeal, with regular updates as to the disposition of those swapped chopsticks posted on the web and social media.
And ChopSwap’s ‘new math’ adds up smartly: putting 100,000 pairs of reusable chopsticks into local use X 250 meals = 25 million pairs of disposables NOT purchased, permitting more than 12,500 trees to stand (sequestering 300 tonnes of carbon, saving 500K litres of water) and reducing local landfill waste by 325 cubic metres, or 20 garbage truckloads. It’s a good start.
ChopSwap is actively looking for community partners to help it grow. Check our website for more information. And get the latest on upcoming events via our social media sites (below).
Trade up. To a better future.
Photos by Mike Bernard. Thanks to Paul + Brendan @ Noodlebox Gastown.