Crowdfunding Friday: Penstix could replace disposable chopsticks, Artisan sunglasses right out of Portlandia

penstix in action
© Penstix

Yogi Berra once said of a popular restaurant in St. Louis: "Nobody goes there anymore, it's too crowded." Kickstarter and Indiegogo feel like that sometimes; there is so much stuff now that you can't even look at it anymore. We get so many pitches on TreeHugger, and have posted quite a few, never knowing if the thing will get funded or if it can actually be built if it gets funded (hello, where's my Jorno keyboard?) There are so many worthwhile things that don't get funded and so many trivial things that just go nuts (like this silly cooler that was looking for $50K and has $6 million with 42 days to go!)

So on Crowdfunding Friday we will round up the interesting finds that get tossed over our transom. I tend to like the smaller, creative and obviously, green projects. Two that caught my eye this week:

Penstix

© Penstix

80 billion pair of disposable chopsticks are thrown away every year. They are not very healthy, either; ccording to Shanghai Daily, "Bamboo chopsticks are very likely to go moldy so that the factories use industrial sulfur dioxide (a toxic, pungent gas) and hydrogen peroxide to achieve a good appearance."

Years ago TreeHugger covered the Bring your own chopsticks movement and showed some designs for reusable chopsticks, but none as clever as these from Yuan Designs that are now up on Indiegogo.

The Penstix are called that because they fold up to be the size of a pen, actually half a pen, which then clip together with a piece in the middle that acts as the chopstick rest.

I have a few concerns; I suspect it will be easy to lose that little chopstick rest. There are a lot of pieces to clean. I don't know why they charge nine bucks to ship to people outside of the USA.Some people might think it is actually a pen too. (that would be a good idea actually) But it is certainly a step in the right direction to get rid of 80 billion chopsticks. More on Indiegogo.

Bringing Art to Eyewear | Engraved Wood Sunglasses

Really, compared to a stupid plastic cooler with a blender on top, here is something useful: 13 artists from 5 different continents engraving their designs on to wooden sunglasses. Perhaps it was the pitch from Matthew Miner and Alex Cruft:

Oregon has always had a bit of a reputation of being filled with hippies and eco-nuts and well, if you have seen the show Portlandia, that sums it all up. In reality, most of us Oregonians are just normal people who care about the planet and want to do our part in preserving it. Renewable products are a growing trend, and one that I am super excited to be a part of! I think that the way most products are made now is entirely unsustainable and that better alternatives exist.

They haven't raised six million bucks; they haven't broken six grand yet. But I like their attitude. More on Kickstarter.

Tags: Kickstarter

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