Dear Unused Junk Drawer Chopsticks,
Your time has finally come. No longer will you feel neglected or unwanted after being tossed into a kitchen drawer with no idea of when you will ever see the light again. No longer will you have to swallow that fake sense of hope when your drawer was accidentally opened by someone looking for a fork to eat their noodles and rice with. You are more than that, so much more than that. Your potential is truly endless and it’s time the world sees that…
It’s time to clean out your chopstick drawer for a good cause. ChopValue is a company based out of Vancouver that specializes in recycling chopsticks and turning them into new products such as dominos, cheese boards, coasters, desks, tables and more. Their mission is “to redefine the term waste to resource, one chopstick at a time.”
In November 2021, Dorchester resident Elaine Chow purchased ChopValue’s second U.S. franchise location here in Boston, the only one on the East Coast.
“I didn’t set out to just make furniture, I set out to make people think bigger and better about what we could do with their waste,” Chow said. “We are excited to provide customers with a truly green product.”
Since March 2022, they’ve collected over 2 million chopsticks. That’s 15,000 pounds of
chopsticks and 7.5 tons of waste diverted from landfills! By having all carbon negative products, they are eliminating that waste going into the air as well. Think about it. Instead of ordering a desk from all the way across the world where trees had to be cut down in order for it to be made, you can order a desk that was sourced, made and delivered from just a few miles away.
ChopValue Boston has partnerships with restaurants all over the city who are known as collection partners. You can find out which of your favorite spots donates to ChopValue by looking at the list linked in their Instagram bio. As for where you can donate your own sticks, stay tuned for upcoming collection sites. But for now, you can bring them to their microfactory in Charlestown.
What better time to do so then at their Grand Opening event on Tuesday, October 25th? While you are there, take a self-guided tour and read through the different signage to learn how your old pair of chopsticks gets transformed into a dining room table. RSVP by clicking this link.
Remember, it isn’t a retail store. It’s a functioning microfactory where products are being made! To shop products, you can visit their website where they even share the impact report that making the product had on the environment and you can use the promo code MADEINBOSTON to ensure that your product will be made locally. Their products are 100% customizable and can be engraved with anything you want. All you have to do is fill out the form on their website!
“I’ve been a part of this community for over 20 years and had a feeling that Boston was going to be into this,” Chow said. “The people and media response has been incredible.”
The initiative definitely sticks out in the area and now you have a chance to be a part of it! So, the next time you order takeout, think twice before you throw your chopsticks in your drawer. Do it for the environment…(but also do it for the chopsticks).
Make sure to follow them on Instagram too!
Megan Klein is a freelance writer and journalism student at Boston University. She loves meeting new people and sharing their stories and has a passion for Trader Joe’s, as well as most other food (except cheese). Lifestyle, culture, local features and mental health are all things of interest to her
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