Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Eco Wraps

For those who love to wrap their gifts, but are wary of wasting paper, here is my year of gift wrapping in pictures.
Have avoided buying gift wrapping paper for a whole year now, using alternate materials like newspaper, used paper, magazines and recycled packaging material and fabric.
Sample these
A child's birthday gift is packed in paper made from News paper, recycled gift wrapping paper ( which was too creased to reuse as is) curling ribbon from balloon ties and paint. The paper was made by my eight year old during the course of an afternoon activity.

Tissue paper salvaged from a shopping bag was used to pack a baby shower gift. The cutesy accent on the gift in turn salvaged from the bottom of my child's toy chest.

For a fashionista buddy, an attractive center-spread from Financial Time's Weekend Supplement made the perfect wrap alternative!

There was no reason to dispose off an A4 sized paper that had served its purpose. Used it to wrap a bottle of perfume.

To wrap my Diwali gifts, we hand block printed peacock motifs on old newspaper with gold and red acrylic paints.

Apart from those that I could document in images, there were wraps fashioned out of scrap fabric, plastic and spray painted newspaper.
Have been trying to recycle every scrap of paper that we use around the house, in whatever way possible. More later.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Green blooms

Among the various new year resolutions made at the start of 2010, is one to go as green as I possibly can. The other one is to update this space more frequently. Tying both of these together so that neither gets broken , I am going to post a few initiatives around the house.

Starting with dumping my florist. Sorry Mr Lee on Lyndhurst terrace, but I am going to have to stop my regular trips to your sweet little flowery haven.
As much as one loves cut flowers, the cost of these beauties has increasingly become clear. Commercial, large scale flower farming comes with a host of problems- pesticide overuse, carbon emissions that transporting these beauties entails, human cost in the form of bad working conditions for the farm workers- pesticide exposure, water source pollution- to think of a few.

For some time now, I have been trying to sustain my love for fresh flowers in ways that are less damaging to the environment. Uploading a few pictures and ideas- most of which are pretty obvious, but I am putting them together anyway.

The first of course is to grow your own blooms, if you are lucky enough to have a garden.
I have been growing Hibiscus, Bogun Villa, Gerbera, Orchids and Anthurium on my small balcony for some time now. The plants are able to provide small single stemmed arrangements if not huge centerpieces on a daily basis.

Less is more ! A single stem is enough to give you enough flower power sometimes. It helps to work with various textures and materials in the form of pots containers and platters to complete the arrangement.

The next time you are out walking, try to notice flowers and foilage that grow in your own neighbourhood or city. A few wild flowers, originating from trees or shrub - Bauhinia, Gulmohur, Frangipani, the stunning Amaltas- very evocatively called `Sona Jhuri' in Bangla - there is a limitless bounty available with the changing seasons around. But do be kind with how much you pick..!

Last but not the the least, potted plants are a wonderful alternative to cut flowers. Combine plants with different colours shapes and textures for fun results.

Would love to hear of similar stuff you might have done at your home or are able to think of. Coming up more ideas, big and small to save, conserve, recycle and reuse.. Watch this space.


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