November 26, 2008


I just recently found out from a coworker that Greenpeace has an office in Beijing. I had no idea. When I moved here in 2000, Greenpeace was only operating in Hong Kong because of issues of how to approach the Mainland. There traditional campaign model obviously would not work here.

Well it turns out that they have now opened up multiple offices in China and are working with the government to conduct campaigns and educate officials on how to become more environmentally sustainable.

One campaign they conducted recently was to educate people on the issue of disposable chopsticks. This is an issue near and dear to my own heart, and I always try to bring my reusable chopsticks with me where ever I go.

The numbers are staggering. Chinese factories churn out 63 billion pairs each year. By bringing your own chopsticks you can not only help conserve resources, but you also avoid worrying whether the chopsticks provided by the restaurant are clean or not.

Also heartening, another Greenpeace China campaign is being conducted by several young Chinese environmentalists. The fact that Chinese youth have begun become involved with environmental activism provides hope that the overwhelming issues that China faces will begin to be addressed before it is too late.


The Good Doctor said...

some new facts and figures from my coworker:

I would like to share with you some latest figures about GPC’s chopsticks project.

In 2008, they have partnered with (the mainland branch of to sell its portable/reusable chopsticks at about 25.00 RMB/pair via the 2nd largest B2C platform in China.

Unexpectedly, the total sales are RMB 110,000 for its chopsticks.

Now, they are planning to move this business to, the most popular C2C website in China and expect to reach more web users and buildup the awareness of forest protection among them.

For each pair of chopsticks they sold, the production cost might be a little bit higher, about 20-30 RMB. The raw materials are from Brazil.


i'm not sure how i feel about importing brazilian chopsticks for this campaign, but i support the effort otherwise.

aprilbeijing said...

interesting... the environmental issues over there are so daunting it's almost like where do you start? But i guess you have to start someplace.
That's also true of US chinese restaurants; it seems like they all use single-use chopsticks.

I loved the news about china making businesses charge for plastic bags.