Micro-economics is not only an incredibly effective poverty alleviation method, but in this instance it serves as an environmental protection method for our friends along the Mekong river in Vietnam. 

When you drink with a Sustainabl. straw, you’re doing much more than that. Our straws are made in the Mekong river Delta, where climate-change induced flooding is a prevalent issue. This dual monsoon climate comprises two hundred eco-regions, and one hundred different ethnic groups, home to one of the world’s earliest civilisations. Over time, the fault line which hosts the second largest Delta in Asia, has given way to sea level rising. With such flooding, the millions of people who rely on the river for food and shelter are forced to live on their boats during the summer months. During these harsh months, the river is known to expand to the size of the state of Connecticut. 

Mr Hung, local farmer from Mekong

The agrarian area is usually funded by family farms, however many young people are being forced to leave their villages to seek work in urban areas, as rice farming becomes infeasible. The straws are made entirely of natural herbaceous plants (Lepironia articulate). Lepironia grass grows in alkaline water in the Mekong Delta region. Previously, the farmers used this raw material to make the handicrafts such as knit cushions, mats, baskets, hats and cottages. 

The big plants (1 -2 years old) can be used as the grass straws. Harvesting and crafting these straws helps local farmers in Mekong Delta increase their income and stabilise their lives in this harsh land. When we create demand for straws, these micro-entrepreneurs in the Mekong region can generate an income and proudly stimulate their natural and fiscal economies respectively.

Straws cut ready for processing

In addition, these grasses are a valuable food source for the Sarus Crane, which is at risk of extinction. Planting, producing and preserving grasslands helps the farming community maintain this primitive land. We support the growth of grass which is resilient against flooding, and will bring back endemic bird species’ which have been lost due to climate change. 

Sustainabl. Planet is proud to be an exclusive Hong Kong supplier of Greenjoy grass straws, who is committed to contributing to the change of community’ lifestyles, thinking, and awareness in protecting our environment and our planet.

GreenJoy straws cut, dried & ready for packing.

STONE, R. (2011). Mayhem on The Mekong. Science, 333(6044), 814–818. http://www.jstor.org/stable/27978415
FOX, J., & LEDGERWOOD, J. (1999). Dry-Season Flood-Recession Rice in the Mekong Delta: Two Thousand Years of Sustainable Agriculture? Asian Perspectives, 38(1), 37–50. http://www.jstor.org/stable/42928445
MARCHAND, M., PHAM, D. Q., & TRANG LE. (2014). Mekong Delta: Living with Water, But for How Long? Built Environment (1978-), 40(2), 230–243. http://www.jstor.org/stable/43296889