Chopsticks Get Second Life

This year marks the 49th annual Earth Day celebration. The initiative started on April 22, 1970 in the United States by US Senator Gaylord Nelson to increase public awareness of environmental issues and by 1990, Earth Day became globally recognized.

Each year over 190 countries around the world take part in this global event. This year’s theme is Protect Our Species, which focuses on building, educating, and activating a global movement that embraces nature and its values.

Oakridge Centre has introduced a new recycling initiative in its Food Court by partnering with ChopValue, an initiative that gives bamboo chopsticks a second life. Since joining in August 2018, Oakridge recycled 117,999 chopsticks, redirected 334.2kg of waste from landfills, and captured 154.73kg of CO2. The chopsticks that get collected are transformed into a diverse collection of high quality coasters to large tabletops that are for sale.


Celebrate Earth Day by making a simple change in your life that will have a positive impact on the environment, or become a champion for change, inspiring those around you to take action.

Here are five eco-friendly initiatives to do this Earth Day (and every day!)

Volunteer. Check out what your community is doing to give back on Earth Day. Do your part and pick up trash, remove weeds and debris, clean-up beaches and rivers, adopt a street, fix any repairs, etc.

Ditch the plastic. Replace plastic water bottles with other sustainable alternatives. Don’t forget about the straw. Many establishments are banning or phasing out plastic straws and using paper straws instead. And bring your own bag to the grocery store to avoid using plastic bags.

Conserve water. Use low-flow shower heads and cut back on your time in the shower. Cutting back by even a couple minutes will save water and cut down on your water heating bill. Wash your clothes in cold water, which is not only easier on your clothes but also on your electricity and water bill. And install low-flow toilets, as toilets account for almost a quarter of all household water usage.

Save the bees. Bees are extremely important as they feed 80 percent of the crops we eat like apples, blueberries, and broccoli to name a few. Plant flowers that are bee-friendly like mint, lavender, and poppies but make sure the flowers you choose are native to your area. And avoid spraying pesticides and herbicides as they contain chemicals (this includes organic sprays) that are very harmful to bees.

Decrease your carbon footprint. When possible, walk, bike, or take public transit instead of driving. Doing so will drastically reduce CO2 emissions. At home, turn off lights you’re not using when you leave the room. And don’t set that thermostat too high or low. Install a programmable model to turn off the heat when you’re not home.

Carol Liu
Carol’s look may be minimalist, and her favorite clothing lines known for simplicity, but she works her role as Marketing Coordinator to the maximum and with her super-power energy. Organized and button down, Carol rolls up those chic sleeves and gets it done. Throw in a journalism background to keep it real, and a great quick smile to deliver the spin. Which reminds us, she’s fast too. Must be all that running.


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