Thursday, 12 March 2009

Day 4: A Real Rubbish Parcel

Blow me down with a feather, but I think word has got out about my rubbish challenge.

Folk have resorted to sending me rubbish through the post.

Honestly! If you don't believe me, have a look below.

It might look like some innocent newspaper but can you see the Royal Mail sticker? Someone's really sent me some rubbish.

WOW! That's never happened to me before (with the exception of Mrs Green's sellotape reel of course).

When I picked it up it felt quite weighty. There was obviously something inside.

Fish and chips perhaps?

Well what else could be wrapped in newspaper?

"There's more to this than meets the eye." I thought, so I opened it carefully.

And I smiled, for inside the layers of newspaper there was a very pleasant surprise.

It was a beautifully wrapped gift, packaged in blue and white checked fabric, accompanied by a note wishing me luck.

It was then that I remembered the conversation I had last week with a lovely chap called Hugo, whose business The Green Giving Company makes a product called the Kerchief, a fabulous alternative to wrapping paper, which embraces the fine Japanese art of gift wrapping, called Furoshiki. Hugo had promised me some samples to try out and kept to his word to put some in the post. Carefully reused newspaper is his packaging of choice, which is very sustainable when it comes to sending out orders.

And how exciting.

He had also sent me a gift.

How kind. I had told him about my challenge last week and I was grateful for this unexpected token of support.

So, under the eager watch of my 4 year old, I carefully untied the knots. I couldn't wait to see what it was.

Yet with the most amazing control, I slowly unfolded the gorgeous check fabric, in anticipation of a pleasant treat.

Could it be chocolate?

A book?

Or was it some other special gift?



It was....ahem....

Yep, it was ...

...........a pile of bin bags.

"Bin bags Mummy?" said my 4 year old, scratching his head like Stan Laurel.

"Yes" I laughed, looking at the black shiny things laid out against the beautiful fabric wrapping.

What a cheeky chap, eh!

But how I chuckled.

Hee hee, with the reputation I've acquired over the last twelve months, it'll be no surprise that I haven't bought a pack of rubbish bags during all this time. And Hugo thought I might need some.

And I might, if I ignore my conscience that's standing in the way of this week's challenge.

We'll see.

But in the meantime, the great news is I've already had an opportunity to try out one of the Kerchiefs on a present I had bought to cheer up a good friend who's been having a tough time of late. But being a Furoshiki novice, I popped over to for instructions.

And look what I created. I admit I had my doubts over how a Japanese idea could translate into western culture, but I am really pleased with the results.

Of course this is a very simple wrapping technique but The Green Giving Company website has lots more ideas on using more advanced techniques. I particularly love this Rabbit, which is a great way of wrapping up those unpackaged chocolate Eggheads sold by Cadbury.

Isn't it gorgeous. And just in time for Easter.

So huge thanks to Hugo for giving me a real rubbish laugh and for the samples to try out. I think I am now a Furoshiki convert. And at just £1.99 per Kerchief, I'll most definitely be trying more out.

But I couldn't chuck the newspaper in the bin. It's gone into the compost instead, together with the sellotape that was used to seal up the parcel. And as for the bin bags, we'll just have to wait to see what fate awaits them.

I might ask the experts for some advice. You see, it's tomorrow that I am going on my sponsored Bin Round, where I will be hard at work sticking recycling stickers on St Edmundsbury's wheelie bins to raise some cool cash for Comic Relief.

So while I am doing that, please feel free to discover the art of wrapping presents with fabric. Here's a little video below, which reveals how it is so easy to say bye bye to disposable gift wrap for good.

Furoshiki gift wrapping from RecycleNow on Vimeo.



mrs green said...

hehehe - brilliant gift. I love these kerchiefs and the bunny is divine - very inspirational.
Good luck with your dustbin round. Rather you than me, lovely :)

Mrs g x

Danda said...

Fantastic! :D
I want to use these ideas!

It seems to recall the "ligàza" an ancient tradition of Romagna, where, when you have to go on a party, everyone had to bring something cooked in a great napkin, tied at corners and hung on a stick... (from the Italian verb "legare" which means "to tie").
How much is little the world?!?

Thank you very much! And have a good bin round today! ;)

mel said...

I love wrapping stuff like this - I've used pretty tea-towels to wrap cookbooks and a smart tablecloth around a hamper of goodies. had some tips & ideas.

Good luck with your bin round,


Karin said...

I think this is a great idea, but I was disappointed to see that the kerchiefs are not necessarily cotton, let alone organic or Fairtrade cotton. I may think about this and do my own thing.

I decided to wrap my Christmas presents in tissue paper and real ribbon this year, but reusable cloths could be even better. It could get expensive, though.


Hi Mrs G - That bunny is gorgeous isn't it. I've given the present to my friend, including the wrapping. She's so chuffed. And I can't help thinking that one day I will get it back :-D

Thanks you Danda - it is indeed a small world. It looks like I just need more practice. LOL.

Hi Mel - thank you for the link. Tea towels are a great idea too and there are some yummy ones out there. :-D

Hi Karin - It's a good point and I am sure that if Hugo is looking in he will be glad to have the feedback. Wouldn't it be great if more and more people took this idea on board. It would mean that they could just get reused in your immediate circle. :-D

Layla said...

WOW!! What GREAT ideas!!

It makes me feel really horrible that I EVER bought any of that terrible glitzy paper, EVER!! :)

I did try to buy eg pretty rice paper (expensive though) or what looked like easily recyclable or so later on, but still..

The book bags & bottle bags etc are really AWESOME!!

Organic & 100% natural would be better yeah, though I'm wondering, is all that recycled textile? In that case it's MUCH better than just binning it!!
(and possibly 100%natural&organic is better to wear daily close to skin than just have as portable carrier bag-slash-tablecloth or kitchen towel!)

We did do (or get) some cloth bags before, but this is making me re-think the whole gift-wrapping idea!! :) BIG THANKS for posting it!! :)


Hi Layla - now don't you go feeling guilty. It's just that times are a-changing. Now there's a great idea about recycled textiles. Maybe Hugo could have a "pot-luck" option in his range, where you never know what you're going to get, but at least it's guaranteed to be recycled. If Hugo is looking in it would be great to see what he thinks. I'll drop him a line next week to share your ideas :-D x

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