Thursday, 10 December 2009

Wrapping up Christmas

Hello, Emma and Rachel here. We hope that you've had fun over the last few weeks making your own decorations and wrapping for a little bit greener Christmas.

In the bagladee household we opted for the LED Christmas lights to cut down on energy wasted. The old lights had packed up so I didn't mind too much throwing them away. I'm also thinking of alternate wrapping ideas and trying to support fellow crafters by buying handmade items.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for following and supporting TLBG. We are so happy that the response from setting up this green blog has been a success. The plan was not to convert the world but just make more people aware that we can do more to make the planet that little bit greener. And you have all been doing your bit by taking part, whether that be your fantastic posts or your great suggestions......we are very grateful!

It just re-iterates what we say, that bloggers/crafters are such wonderful people. The generosity and selflessness is overwhelming at times. And the world is definitely a better place with you all in it.

If you are wondering why we have chosen now to do a thank you post, well let us explain. We have decided that over Christmas and into the New Year we are going to be taking a break from TLBG (I think I have worn Rachel out a little, Emma). There are lots of things going on in both of our lives for the next few weeks and would like to come back in the new year with some fresh ideas and topics (we're going to swat up in the holidays).

We would like to say, however, if you do have any topics/links/ideas please post at the bottom here. We will still be reading and responding to comments. And don't forget to keep all that wrapping paper, cards and even your tree as we will be covering Christmas Recycle when we come back.

So I think all that's left to say is HAVE A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS & A HAPPY NEW YEAR...we will see you all in 2010.

Hugs to you all,
Emma & Rachel xxx

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Countdown to a greener Christmas - Wrapping

So, let's kick off this week with a couple of facts about Christmas wrapping:-

According to the book "A Greener Christmas", the US alone produces an extra 5 million tons of garbage over the Christmas period, most of which is wrapping paper, packaging and cards, which could all be recycled.

It has been estimated that if every American family wrapped just three presents in reused or repurposed materials, it could save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields. That is an absolutely astonishing figure! And just think how much more it would be if every gift, all over the world was wrapped in an eco-friendly way.

So, what can we do to help? Here are some ideas:-

1. Re-usable. I read on a blog ages ago that someone had a set of Christmas boxes that were used year after year, that were part of that family's Christmas tradition. I love this idea! You can of course buy lovely gift bags & boxes, and I think cake tins (or indeed any size tin) would work equally well. But how about making your own? Shoe boxes are perfect to be recovered or decorated and re-used as gift boxes.

Then, of course, there is fabric. The Japanese tradition of Furoshiki is a beautiful idea - simply a square piece of cloth that can easily be tied - and you can find tutorials for how to fold and tie them all over the internet (check out There are various sites where you can buy wrapping cloths but it is just as easy to make your own - in fact, there's hardly any "making" involved at all! It's just a square of fabric which you can hem the edges, or leave raw if you prefer. And, once again, these cloths can be re-used time and time again. Alternatively, you could buy or make a drawstring fabric bag for wrapping awkwardly shaped gifts.

2. Re-purposed. There are so many things that could be re-purposed as gift wrappings. I've already mentioned shoe boxes but how about maps, newspaper, comic or magazine pages - these can look quite stunning when tied with pretty ribbons (again, reusable!). How about wrapping your gift in a pretty tea-towel (which could also form part of the gift) or a mens shirt front?

3. Recycled. When I was a child my mum used to save all the wrapping paper to use again the following year (we had to be very careful unwrapping things!) It's not quite so fun as rippping the paper off but if you do have any large pieces left over it is definitely worth saving them. Also, good old brown packing paper - if you make sure you buy the recycled variety - works very well. If you want it to look a bit more special, why not decorate it with some Christmassy stamps?

4. If all else fails, make sure your wrapping is recyclable so that you can put it in your recycling bin after Christmas. Try to buy wrapping paper with a matt finish and no special effects (glitter, metalic finishes etc) as these make the paper un-recyclable (those kinds of of "luxury" paper also probably cost more and require more resources to produce). Try and use a minimum of sticky tape and remove any pieces of tape before you recycle. You could even use no tape at all, if you tie your package up carefully with pretty string or ribbon.

From "A Greener Christmas" - gifts wrapped in teatowel, corrugated cardboard, newspaper pages and tissue paper,

and on this page, gifts wrapped in a map, brown packing paper, fabric and a shirt front.

Japanese Furoshiki - picture from "Sewing Green" by Betz White

A shoebox covered in brown paper and decorated with stamped snowflakes

More brown paper decorated with stamps

Collection of Christmas ribbons - all of which can be reused next year!

I hope that gives you some good ideas. Happy Wrapping!

Rachel & Emma xx