Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Green Giving

Its time for me to sing the praises of green giving again, and this post is part craft economics and part environmental good sense.

First of all most people love to present their gifts as nicely as possible, and some gifts even requrire a certain amount of packaging, the trick is to turn thrift and green living into beautiful gift trimmings.

The photo at top of this post shows a large maxbox that has been turned into a giftbox rather than thrown into recycling.... if I didn't keep my used boxes (whether match, chocolate, or other) I would be running around looking for a store bought one. Store bought gift boxes can be nice, but they are a green nightmare, they have likely been transported vast distances which is a green no-no, they are mass produced so aren't great energy and pollution wise, not forgetting the health and wellbeing of the employees which may be not better than a sweat shop..... and often imported items are doused in chemicals before their journey (Yes you should wash your new clothes, linens, and anything else that you can).

This box has been covered with a simple piece of coloured paper using green friendly paste, and then an offcut of saved ribbon and an iron on transfer star applied around the middle.

Inside my gift box are a pair of earrings I recently made up using vintage lucite sea horses, I like to find and collect vintage pieces as they make the jewelry rarer, and I think it is better than letting the pieces go to waste, and means I am not endorsing more mass produced beads and findings. When I do buy new beads I often purchase from a lovely lady who has her own family business of a small glass studio, a very satisfying experience as I know the circumstances surrounding the production meet my green standards.

I have preached in very early posts, the value of keeping every piece of trim and ribbon that comes your way.... I will rescue any amount of offcut ribbon even wrinkled and creased stock as it is a simple matter of giving them a light iron and they are as new again. I have even taken ribbon with stain on it and covered with embellishments.... I often use embellishments anyway so at least the ribbon isn't going to waste. Above are some of the saved ribbons that fill my ribbon box.

I admit, I love cut flowers, but I detest florist shops.... so much waste, so many flowers imported from great distances because they are out of season or don't suit the climate.... If I can't get to the flower markets I will usually pick fresh flowers from my garden, yes they will die in time, but it helps stimulate new flower production out in the garden. But it is true that one of my favourite green gift tips is to give a stunning photograph of flowers that can be mounted or framed and lasts forever.
It is easy to achieve a lovely close up of flowers - they don't move except in high winds - the camera is point and shoot, I have a macro lens of 1cm which I admit puts me at advantage but I have always managed to get good shots even before my current camera. You can look at my flower pictures via my flickr link on the right of this blog page, and while in flickr why not get even more inspiration from the flickr group 'flower book' these are extremely high quality often professional photographs.
Any way I hope you are finding out, or remembering, how fun it can be to give green friendly gifts, and they are above all gifts from the heart.


Jace said...

I'll try to go green for Christmas this year - simpler or recycled wrappers, embellishments and tags. I tried to keep it green last year but failed miserably due to bad planning and time management. I'm starting earlier this year and hopefully I'll succeed. :)

Starry said...

Hi Jace, you will get greener each year I am sure, it gets easier when you try to look out for things to use or reuse during the year rather than all at once that is the trap I was in at first.

You already make such beautiful bookmarks and ATCs using magazine pages and other goodies, I know you can do it!

Chez said...

Starry love your ideas and your creations my friend.
Had not read this Post when I choose a beautiful ribbon to wrap a parcel that is now on its way to you via Aust Post.
Love and light Chez xo

Starry said...

oh goodness, a parcel for me? Thank you my dear friend. I will keep an eye out for it and let you know when it arrives. I am sure the ribbon is just divine!
xxx Starry

Terra said...

I go more green each year.
Last year I bought LED lights for the Christmas tree, which use a lot less electricity and are pretty. Of course I did not throw out the old lights; I am using both.
Also, I like to buy gift bags and use them many times.
I like the way you made a pretty gift box for the seahorse earrings.

Starry said...

Hi Terra,

I too reuse gift bags.... there are even two or three that pass between my mother and I each year.... and we put them in the storage with the christmas decs, and who needs them first gets to use them.

I bet your lights are fantastic!

jenny said...

ohh very sweet memories and good photos for all. I am attracted to those creepy days after wedding. Thanks for sharing,..

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