KAIMUKI, HONOLULU, HAWAI’I

In 2000, I moved to Honolulu. I settled into a pink one-room studio that stood on stilts – my beloved breezy home in a neighborhood called Kaimuki, which rests at the base of the Pololo valley and overlooks the Waikiki shores.

As I sat alone one night at Magoro-ya, a local Japanese restaurant, I watched the sushi chef roll one of the most memorable meals of my life. I also took notice of the whimsical design on my chopstick wrapper. I decided to take the delicate paper with me so that later I could paste it to my scrapbook amongst other images and ideas to remember.

This was the beginning of my chopstick wrapper collection:

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THE TREES

While scanning each wrapper in my collection, I also starting researching how they are made.

Who designs them and where? Although I was not able to learn much about the design and printing process of chopstick wrappers, I did learn an abundance about the destruction of forests caused by the use of disposable chopsticks.

My collection which I share with you below,  with all of its beauty and charm, is also glaring evidence of my implication in the detrimental over harvesting of trees.

The fabrication of millions of disposable chopsticks each year results in the destruction of forests across Asia.

“Chopsticks add to a plague of regional deforestation. According to a 2008 United Nations report, 10,800 square miles of Asian forest are disappearing each year, a trend that must be arrested to fight climate change, given the vital role trees play in absorbing carbon dioxide.

Activists argue that the disposable chopstick habit could gradually be phased out on an individual basis. Chopstick sets complete with a simple or decorative case are sold at many stores and are easy to put in a purse, knapsack or briefcase, they note.” – Nuwer, Rachel. “Disposable Chopsticks Strip Asian Forests.” New York Times. Web. October 24. 2011.

Let’s phase them out! Carry your own elegant tableware. Click here for some choices.

May this collection I share with you become a relic of the past; ephemera in the cultural history of culinary globalization.

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