Making Statements With a Chopstick Tree

January 18, 2011 § Leave a comment

Chances are you will see a pair of disposable wooden chopsticks on your table when you eat at a Chinese restaurant. A seemingly harmless item and part of the eating-out experience. Plus, it teaches you how to hold and use chopsticks correctly! Not many people give it a second thought as they dig into their General Tso Chicken.

Yet, if you think about how many disposable chopsticks are used on a daily basis and the amount of waste it generates, you might view those seemingly harmless chopsticks a little differently. The amount of waste generated by disposable wooden chopsticks is pretty mind-blowing. According to the China Environmental Protection Foundation, some 25 million trees are required to produce disposable chopsticks a year.

To raise awareness of this problem, the Chinese Environmental Protection Foundation turned to DDB/Ogilvy for suggestions. The group  collected 30,000 pairs of used disposable chopsticks and constructed a 5 meter high tree. After placing it in a busy part of Shanghai, they chopped down this tree to further drive the point home. A sign laid out the consumption statistics and warned: “Our trees are enough to feed us for only another 20 years.” Volunteers handed out reusable chopsticks to passers-by. (via Magical Urbanism)

Image: China Environmental Protection Foundation

There are many other similar campaigns carried out in China (check this site). I thought this project was well executed because it grabs your attention and gets the point across. Most people probably never gave disposable chopsticks much thought and I like to think that these campaigns might give people something think about while the walk away from the exhibit. Disposable utensils are an incredible waste of resources for a very minimal benefit. Making the switch to reusable isn’t hard, it just has to be a conscious decision.

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“Newsaint” – Terry Allen

November 25, 2010 § Leave a comment

Newstaints by Terry Allen, Bronze, 1991

I had the chance to visit the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University today with my parents and grandpa.  The museum is beautiful and they had some very interesting exhibits while we were there.  This bronze sculpture was my favorite piece there.

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