Monday, October 26, 2009

A Paperless Birthday Celebration

Sometimes I feel a bit guilty when I find myself doing un earth-friendly things...just because it never dawned on me that there was an alternative. I fully admit that when I created Bird-E Towels for my family, it was more based on a desire to stop spending money on paper towels as a way to stretch our household budget a little further. And I LIKE the earth-friendly aspect but that was not my primary motivation at the time. Since then, I have changed many of our un earth-friendly habits and it feels fantastic.

We now use and LOVE our stainless steel Klean Kanteen water bottles. My 4 smaller children have the smallest sized bottle which we pack in lunch boxes as an alternative to juice boxes. And we have a complete set of the 27 oz bottles, one for each family member that we keep refilled in the fridge. Easy to grab when we are going somewhere. No more bottles of plastic tasting water here and NO trash to worry about!

When making purchases, I now think twice before I purchase stuff with plastic or with big bulky plastic packaging that will just end up in a landfill. I haven't totally avoided it but at least I'm thinking about it and making decisions that make me feel like we are making a tiny bit of difference. One small example that comes to mind is that I am buying bars of soap from a local seller at our arts' market. Virtually zero packaging compared to the squirt pumps that I would buy and toss after one use. And it lasts longer, too, so it ends up being a better value.

So last night I was at Target, shopping for birthday gifts for my baby girl and I stopped by the gift wrap. My first thought was 'Why is this stuff so expensive??' My second thought was.....'Why do I HAVE to wrap her presents in paper that will be thrown away?' Well, there is something nice about seeing a stack of prettily wrapped packages so I knew that unwrapped gifts wasn't the answer.

Enter lightbulb moment:

Aha, I have lots and lots of pretty fabrics. Couldn't I just wrap her presents in fabric and tie it up with a ribbon??? And that's exactly what I did. I didn't even serge or sew the edges. Chances are that I will use this particular fabrics for something else so no need to worry about raw edges. I just fold it so that so raw edges were showing. I'm sure that someone else could do the folding more justice but this is kind of in line with how I wrapped presents with traditional paper...just get her done.

I am pleased with the results!! I'm sure that this would not be the most cost effective thing for a non-seamstress. But maybe there are other reusable things that could be used to wrap presents to avoid paper. A pillowcase comes to mind. Or a fancy apron could possible be folded and tied around a gift using the straps. A reusable grocery tote, a kitchen towel for smaller gifts....just all sorts of options that could be part of the gift and not produce any trash. Heck yeah!

Now I interrupt the talk about paperless gift-giving and will share some photos about my baby girl's 3rd birthday. I love this little girl with all my heart and can't imagine what life would have been like without her. She was our rainbow baby and she helped heal our hearts from the loss of her big brother, Nolan, whom she never had a chance to meet. We are pretty darn sure that she's the last kiddo so she will probably always be referred to as the baby...even though I'm pretty sure 3 is the official cut-off for calling your child a baby among other adults.

Happy 3rd Birthday, Lily! You are such a joy to, funny, adorable!

Make a wish!


Um, OK - clothes!

Now we're!
This isn't hard to open and none of that annoying paper ripping sound.

Who are these kids and why couldn't I be an only child??

So this little paperless experiment was a great success! Not sure I can pull it off for Christmas but I know birthdays will be a cinch. No more trashy paper!!

As I approach the gift-giving season with my business, my mind will definitely be on providing complete gifts that will not require excess disposable gift wrapping for my customers. So, keep an eye out for Bird-E Towel sets 'all wrapped up' in drawstring gift bags. A few are already listed in my store and they have been quite popular already. I enjoy making stuff that has a bit more color then my best selling product so it's all good. :)


Kathy said...

Great idea! Looks like Lily had a great birthday too! :)

Over Yonder said...

VERY cool idea Kerri!

Anonymous said...

fabulous idea!!!