Giving the gift of green, Part 1

December 4, 2008 at 1:06 am 1 comment

twoofuscrppedWe could blog every day for ten years and still not cover every aspect of going green at the end-of-year holidays, so we’re not even going to try. But for the rest of December, each post we’ll highlight various aspects of making these holidays more eco-friendly.

Remember that every idea can be applied to any holiday or celebration. Our goal is to get people thinking about how to approach gifts, activities, food and decor from a green perspective. If all of us change just one or two aspects of what we do when it comes to these special events, we will make an enormous impact.

Take wrapping paper, for instance. If every American wrapped just three fewer gifts in paper, we’d save 47,000 football fields worth of wrapping paper. Isn’t that stunning? Doesn’t that make it worthwhile to consider alternatives?

You’ve probably wrapped a few gifts in newspaper, the comics or cut down paper bags. Those are good alternatives, but remember, it’s always best to choose re-usable items. Recycling takes energy, so while newspaper is preferred to purchased wrapping paper, there are more earth-friendly solutions.

Plus, don’t you want your gifts to look gorgeous? If so, you’ve got to try our discovery of the season, fabric wraps! Variously called furoshiki (in Japan) or bojagi (in Korea), material makes a sensible and perfect wrap for any package. You no longer need to use tape or ribbon and surely you have scarves or even napkins at home that could work perfectly.

Just take a piece of fabric, learn a few easy techniques and your gifts will be receiving oohs and aahs before they’re even opened. Best of all, the recipient can use the wrap herself or pass it on.

When Lynn’s mother passed away, she inherited a number of gorgeous silk scarves. She doesn’t wear scarves, so imagine her joy at realizing she could use them to wrap gifts for those she loves! Some will be passed on to Corey via gifts to her. Then Corey will use them to wrap gifts for her daughter. What an amazing way to share love and gift the Earth at the same time.

You can make your own wraps from fabric you already have. That’s what we did in this video where we demonstrate how to do a simple fold (along with a hint for a fun holiday craft). The fabric should be thin and if you don’t have a machine to sew around the edges of two pieces, then turn them right side out, you can use pinking shears or, depending on the fabric, leave the edges to fray!

boboBut if you aren’t up to sewing or don’t have fabric lying around the house, we suggest you take a look at our favorite spot for buying, Being as Lynn is a polka dot fanatic, she immediately fell for the luscious dotty wraps, but if you’re a little more conservative, Patricia has plenty for you to choose from. The less expensive wraps are single thickness and while the more expensive ones may be cost prohibitive to use for every gift, they’re perfect for those “special” ones. Not only will the gift and wrapping be appreciated, but the wrap may get passed on for a long time. If that isn’t a special gift, I don’t know what is.

By the way, we have a full page of wrapping those simple techniques in Celebrate Green!


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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Kathy A.  |  December 17, 2008 at 5:11 am

    Wrapping gifts in fabric, or in “larger gift bags” (I made of fabric, with drawstrings at the top, to close the bags) … way back in the early 1980s. Maybe I’ve been doing things “green” for quite some time. Just thought you might be encouraged to know that some of us are doing our part, to do what you are also hoping others will join in on, ladies!
    Bless you!
    ~ Kathy A. ~


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