I can’t stand waste. It is one of my biggest pet peeves. I grew up in a creative household where we learnt to sew at a young age by making doll’s clothes from scrap material, and did arts and crafts projects using rubbish and things we found through beach combing and the like. A large family, mum always cooked enough to feed an army and there was always at least one meal a week that was a random assortment of leftovers. And use by dates? So long as it looked, smelled and tasted alright then what was the problem? Working in catering was quite a shock to the system in the beginning.
Detesting waste has led to me becoming something of a hoarder. Having young children I have become more selective about what I keep because I am more restricted ad to where I can keep things and they certainly have enough of their own stuff! But I still have one of those magic cupboards. You know, one of those ones you could reach into and pull out a giraffe. It gets a good sort out at least twice a year – when the weather turns nice and I am after the gardening box, and at this time of year when I’m digging out the Christmas decorations.
This year when I pulled everything out I discovered an excessive amount of wrapping paper. Half rolls from the last three Christmas’ in fact. Not to mention a varied collection of tissue paper, ribbon, labels and Christmas cards. We get a bit enthusiastic about present wrapping in our family. I’ve never thought I’m that bad but I have found myself longingly scouring the aisles of paper and ribbon this year while knowing I can’t buy any.
I’m having a homemade Christmas this year so it is fitting that my wrapping solution is to use stuff up. I’m currently down to one of those three rolls and only a few labels and ribbons. The actual packaging for my homemade offerings have been rescued from the recycling and I purposefully bought a shredder so I could make my own shredded paper from stuff that would have otherwise gone in recycling. To cover up brand names on the boxes I have cut up last year’s Christmas cards (which I’d
actually kept back with the intention of making labels).
I think all I have bought is sellophane for wrapping soaps and twine from Oxfam.
It’s been really easy, addictive even. Just like eating organic or buying fairtrade, once you start you see ideas everywhere. My idea for next year, as I won’t have three year’s worth of wrapping paper, is to make my own paper. Sounds good in theory but might prove disastrous!