By Chaya Kurtz, Networx
We normally unwrap takeout chopsticks, eat with them and dispose of them without much thought. Recently, though, there has been a small wave of transnational activism aimed at reducing the use of disposable chopsticks stateside and in Asia; chopsticks, activists say, are contributing to heavy deforestation in China.
The approach of activist groups like Greenpeace East Asia has been to encourage individuals to carry reusable chopsticks, and the New York Times reports that many restaurants in Asia and in America are no longer popping disposable chopsticks into every takeout bag. Given that your local sushi place may not have jumped on the conservation bandwagon yet, I’d like to help you at least get an extra use out of disposable chopsticks. Here are 50 ways you can reuse those takeout chopsticks.
Uses for Disposable Chopsticks in the Kitchen
- Use them to stir while cooking.
- Use them as drink stirrers. (I found this idea on DIY Life.)
- Reuse as sticks for homemade popsicles. (This one also came from DIY Life.)
- I use one to stir the slurry when making coffee in a French Press.
- Dry plastic bags on them. Stick them in a jar and hang the bags off of them. I did this when I lived on an off-the-grid property where we were very careful about trash, and also when I lived in a cooperative house. The coop actually had a piece of wood mounted to the kitchen wall with chopsticks sticking out of it for bags to dry on. There’s green street cred right there.
- Use them to stack plates on when you run out of space in the dish drain. As in, you want to raise the dish you are drying off of the countertop.
- Level-off measured dry ingredients like flour when baking with a chopstick. My mom has done this forever. She also saves Popsicle sticks for this purpose.
- Toast marshmallows. (Idea found on This Old House.)
- Use them to clean hard-to-reach spaces. (Idea found on This Old House.)
- Pit cherries with one. (Thank you to Apartment Therapy for this one.)
- I whisk eggs with them.
- Freeze individual portions in freezer bags with the help of a chopstick. (This idea is from Lunch In a Box.)
- Use chopsticks to turn meat or tofu when grilling.