Think about how many times you’ve chucked a pair of disposable wooden chopsticks in the trash. Now multiply that 80 billion times. According to data from 2013, China alone produces 80 billion disposable chopsticks a year, which requires hacking down 20 million 20-year-old trees on the regular just to meet demand.
But a new product may help turn the tide: RiceIt, an eco-friendly pair of chopsticks made using rice husks—a product of rice production—and polymer. Its inventors have turned to Kickstarter to raise the funds necessary to up its production capacity and get the chopsticks into more hands.
"Chopsticks are so popular that 200 football fields of aspen and bamboo trees are harvested every day to produce 136 million chopsticks that end up in the trash after being used," reads RiceIt’s Kickstarter page. "Such production levels of wooden chopsticks represents a significant environmental challenge.” No kidding.
The Kickstarter still has about a week to go, but it hasn’t come close to hitting its goal of $19,500. Swing over if you’re interested in contributing—and potentially saving a few trees.