Green Machine

I’m on the Green Committee at work. Our mission is to create a culture where there is awareness and accountability for and about our environment. Each month we have challenges within our agency. For December the challenge is to cut down on holiday waste by reusing wrapping paper or using recycled materials to wrap presents. We are rolling out the December challenge at our All Staff Meeting on Monday, and I was tasked with wrapping a prize as an example. Last night, with my newfound dishwashing time I wrapped up an incentive gift (a reusable tumbler – hooray!) with all recycled items. Here’s what I came up with:

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On Sunday Josephine painted some paper grocery bags that I cut open. I only brought out red and green to keep with the holiday spirit. She had a blast, and now we have all sorts of new wrapping paper 🙂

I decided to wrap the tumbler box in plain brown paper bag. I thought it would look more crisp. In the effort to stay green I decided against using tape. Instead, I used an old birthday candle, melted the wax, and used it to seal the wrapping (this, by the way, would be perfect for an easy open way to wrap for a small child).

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This process was a little messy, but I figured it out, using small dots along the edge to keep the seal strong (and yes, I know candles cause indoor pollution, give me a break).

Next up came the bows. I cut strips of Josephine’s painted bag about four inches long. After that I curled the bag just like I would curl ribbon (being careful not to pull too hard). Then I cut a small x in the center of the curled bag strips. Next I took an old piece of yarn (left over from another craft project, I would have just thrown it out otherwise) and knotted one end. I threaded the strips through, arranged them into a flower/bow shape, and then knotted the other side. Writing it out sounds a lot more complicated. I swear.

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I attached the bows with wax, too. And there you have it. Materials that would have been thrown away, repurposed into unique wrapping paper.

And because it was fun, I went ahead and wrapped some stocking stuffers up too. Hooray for holidays! (and for time saved due to my new love, the Bosch Dishwasher!)

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