B.Y.O. CHOPSTIX: A song to save trees
It all started about 10 years ago when the Rev. Mas Kodani of Senshin Temple told us that waribashi -- those cute little throw away chopstick we all use -- were wasting precious forests. This was way before the talk on global warming heated up. But when the Rev. Mas speaks, I try to follow.

At first I bought some really small bamboo chopsticks, hand-made a little bag for them, and carried them whenever I went out for Asian food. Waitresses gave me strange looks and a chuckle. But my friends thought it was cool and it always started a conversation. At Christmas I made a bunch for friends and family. I don’t know whether they were ever used, or dismissed as another one of Nobuko’s artsy-crafty ideas. Also, you have to be ready for strange looks by waitresses.

A few years later, when PJ Hirabayashi, Yoko Fujimoto, and I were working on the Triangle Project, they caught the fire. PJ, a really good shopper, found a very cool pair of portable chopsticks at REI, the camping store! It was made in Japan with a titanium tube and a screw in wooden tip made from recycled baseball bats, definitely a renewable resource. This compact little item, which I still carry, is a really good conversation starter.

But somehow my little acts of conservation were not getting it. Global warming is now THE hot topic. During the Copenhagen Conference I read in the LA Times that the easiest way to curb CO2 is to stop cutting down forests. When I did some Internet research and came up with the number 100 BILLION THROWAWAY CHOPSTICKS A YEAR ARE USED AROUND THE GLOBE ... 40 MILLION TREES!

Carrying my chopsticks is just not enough! What else can I do? Well … I’m a songwriter. What about a song? And … look at all those YouTube videos people are watching. Maybe that’s a better way than passing out portable chopsticks to friends. Hey … let’s start a B.Y.O. CHOPSTIX MOVEMENT!!! OK … calm down.

So I wrote the song. And got Luke Patterson, a hip hop artist, to make some rhymes. We got to reach young folks with this idea. They’re gonna need trees to stay breathing.

So…here’s the song. See what you think.

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