Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Lotion, Lotion Everywhere, No Room Under My Sink

I have something crazy to share.

Even though I gave up buying plastic-packaged products over a year ago, I'm still not out of lotion. In fact, I have five half-full bottles of it lurking in my bathroom. They're of varying sizes—some big, some small—but when it comes down to it, I have enough lotion to last me at least two more years (or until the stuff goes bad).

So I'm left asking myself some questions. Where the hell did I get all of these lotions? Were they gifts? Did I buy them? And if I already had several bottles at home, why on Earth did I buy more?

Unfortunately, I don't have answers. Maybe I forgot I had lotion at home. Maybe I wanted to enjoy that extravagant feeling I used to get from buying beauty products and scented candles. I don't know.

All I know is that I've learned a valuable lesson since I purchased my last bottle of lotion (whenever that was):

Don't buy more unless you've run out of what you already have.

It's a rule to live by and it applies to pretty much everything. Following it saves you money and storage space in your closets and under your sink—two things most of us are desperate to do—and it's good for our planet! Bonus!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Beauty of Furoshiki

A reader sent me a picture of the gifts she wrapped using Furoshiki.

Look how pretty her presents turned out!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Reusable Gift Wrap, Furoshiki Style

During my Plastic Free Christmas extravaganza last year, I struggled with a gift wrap dilemma because wrapping gifts (typically) requires tape, which is obviously made of plastic. My solution was reususing old gifts bags, as well as some very ineffectual origami. It wasn't pretty.

But this year, I'm going to make gift-wrapping into a cultural experience by using the Japanese art of Furoshiki to wrap my presents. If I do it correctly, my gifts will be beautifully surrounded by colorful pieces of cloth that I can reuse next year.

Interested in attempting Furoshiki yourself? Check out this helpful video.

Additional Resources
Wikipedia page on Furoshiki
An illustration of different Furoshiki methods