Tag Archives: gifts

Just opt out of it – and then it’s already a wrap

I already posted the ultimate eco-friendly Christmas gift list last year, so I won’t attempt to outdo myself, but I’d like to write some more about gift wrapping.

Growing up, my mom would always try to save the wrapping paper from Christmas and birthday gifts. We had a habit of opening gifts real gently to “keep” the surprise  as long as possible, by undoing the string, the tape and unfolding the paper slowly, which meant that most of the time there was decent looking paper to save. I used to think “Is paper so expensive that we must wrap other people’s gifts in previously used, wrinkled paper? Why is mom saving it?” But I get it now.

Throwing it away would have been wasteful. Money wise, even if we’re only talking dimes, and planet wise. (Love you mom!)

I just got a Barbie moped! Wrapped in previously used paper? Maybe!
I just got a Barbie moped! Wrapped in previously used paper? Most likely!

As an adult I try to limit packaging and wrapping paper as much as possible. I’m so lucky; my husband is not the most grandiose wrapper and always opts for using something he finds in the recycling bin (newspaper, old box, outdated map), and never any tape. Yes, his gifts are easy to spot at a birthday party and normally trigger quite a few smiles. With a signature style like that – who needs a card?

Now, just in case someone reading this really wants to wrap their gifts up nicely for Christmas, and is not sold on my husband’s recycling trend (!?), here’s another idea; fabric bags! I recently saw that there are fabric gift bags all over town now. Specifically, I saw a bunch (imported, unfortunately, from India) at the Container Store.

There’s something about fabric that tells people that the bag is not a disposable item and should not be thrown away. I think these bags look really cute and if you are handy, they’d be super easy to make yourself! Two sides, stitching and drawstring are basically all you need. I found this tutorial on PositivelySplendid.com – get sewing! (Now, don’t go buying a made in China sewing gauge…)

I have checked more than a few tags – all paper gift bags are made in China (dyes, waste, plastics, import!). They create landfill waste (methane!) and they cost a lot of money (loss!). What’s the reason to buy them again?

How are you all dealing with the Christmas wrapping waste?

bags

Want to read last year’s fantastic (*wink wink*) Christmas gift guide? Click HERE.

My scarf is my style – my style is my scarf

A friend of mine once told me, that she gets scarves as gifts all the time. I used to be a little envious, since I love scarves (they’re amazing accessories)! “How lovely” I thought.

But, during the course of like 10 days, I was given two (!) scarves as gifts and frankly they’re just not right for me… Nor are they made right (here)!

Let’s break it down. Here’s how the two (1 & 2) measure up:

Color analysis:

  1. It’s light purple which is ok, but not great for my complexion.
  2. Orange works for me! But, it’s very shiny. And I’m more into scarves with multiple colors and patterns.

scarf blog1Impact of its import:

  1. Made in China and imported by a polluting ship then trucked from the West Coast to the Midwest. Packaged in a plastic box, also imported.
  2. Our friend was going on a plane anyway (from India to USA), and the scarf rode along in his bag, so kind of the lowest possible footprint while still being imported.

How they ended up with me:

  1. Given as a “nice to meet you” gift at a job event by someone who doesn’t know me. I couldn’t say “no thank you” in front of my colleagues and clients. This scarf was most likely pulled from a pile of corporate merchandise (how thoughtful), which the company has lying around. I did my fake happy face (it’s a little awkward).
  2. Given as a hostess gift by a friend who came to stay at our house.

Additional information:

  1. Smells a little of chemicals (?) Need to wash it a few times I think. Boo!
  2. Made in India and sold at a local market where our friend picked it up. This scarf was locally made and sold. Not bad.

Orange is the winner of this scarf battle! But, like I said; far from what I would have picked for myself!

I think I’m going to stop secretly wanting scarves for gifts and just go back to wanting wine. After all, that’s a gift that never triggers the fake happy face (and it’s never made in China ;)).