I was thinking about chopsticks the other day. I think it started in Las Vegas last week when I was eating chinese food at the World Series of Poker. They are made out of wood. Disposable. Wasteful.
According to Wikipedia (the source for all authentic news :o) ), “In China alone, an estimated 45 billion pairs of disposable chopsticks are used and thrown away annually. This adds up to 1.7 million cubic metres of timber or 25 million fully grown trees every year. To encourage that people use and throw away less, as of April 2006 a five percent tax was added to the price of chopsticks.” (Link to article on Wikipedia.)
I would never ask for plastic cutlery at any restaurant to eat my meal. I would venture a guess that most people wouldn’t. Why is it acceptable to ask for chopsticks? I’m going to ask all of my friends to stop using disposable chopsticks. If they happen to be somewhere that has real chopsticks, that get washed and reused, great; otherwise, I don’t want anyone I know to ask for chopsticks in the paper wrapper. It’s unnecessary.
Will I feel like the stupid American that can’t eat with chopsticks? No.
I will feel like the American who is perfectly capable of using chopsticks but prefers to put her fork where her mouth is.