I was quite shocked when I found out that the Chinese go through a staggering 45 billion pairs of disposable wooden chopsticks each year. This equates to about 25 million trees and current analysts have predicted that if this continues China’s forests will be gone in 20 years.
This is where the new Chinese Greenpeace campaign comes in. Titled, “我本是一棵绿树” (Wǒ běn shì yī kē lǜ shù) or in English “I Was Once A Tree“, Greenpeace and local artist Yinhai Xu created a forest, made entirely from disposable chopsticks, and “planted” it at “The Place” in Beijing.
Over 200 students from 20 Chinese universities had to collect the 80,000 pairs of used chopsticks to produce the artistic masterpiece called “The Disposable Forest”.
The campaign is supported by a Greenpeace mirco-site, where visitors can add their name to the petition which in turn places a green leaf on the website’s digital tree.
Over the next few months the “Disposable Forest” will be put on show at various art galleries and universities across Beijing.
The campaign has already created a lot of buzz from Chinese netizens, but the question remains as to whether or not it will actually make a difference, especially because this is not Greenpeace’s first attempt to put across the message in China.
It’s worth noting as well that the China Environmental Protection Foundation have just launched a very similar campaign in Shanghai (below).