Reusable Bags - Cloth Wraps
Reusable Cloth Wrapping Paper
Why furoshiki? It is reusable and multipurpose. Each year billions of plastic bags end up as litter; reusable bags, such as furoshiki can help reduce the impact to our environment. Its versatility allows you to wrap almost anything regardless of its shape or size.
Pronounced something like 'f'-ROHSH-kee,' furoshiki originates from Japanese culture and promotes caring for the environment and reducing waste; Furoshiki is the eco-friendly wrapping cloth. Using techniques similar to origami, it can be used for gift wrapping, grocery shopping or simply as décor. Cloths can also be tied up in various ways to make an 'instant bag.' Choose from a wide variety of sizes and designs to complement your lifestyle.
Furoshiki Folding Video - A variety of eco-friendly wrapping styles
In addition to it being sustainable, furoshiki is the fastest way to wrap a gift, one of the nicest presentations and easy to carry.
Simple Furoshiki Folding Guide
Here are many ways to wrap and tie furoshiki. If not using furoshiki as gift wrap, you can use them to protect and carry two books, or a watermelon, or bottles of wine.
Click on the image for a full sized version.
I've created what you might call a "mottainai furoshiki". The Japanese word mottainai means it's a shame for something to go to waste without having made use of its potential in full. The furoshiki is made of a fiber manufactured from recycled PET bottles, and has a birds-and-flowers motif drawn by Itoh Jakuchu, a painter of the mid-Edo era.
The Japanese wrapping cloth known as the furoshiki is said to have been first used in the Muromachi Period(1392-1573), when people spread it out in place of a bath mat or wrapped one's clothes with it.
The furoshiki is so handy that you can wrap almost anything in it regardless of size or shape with a little ingenuity by simply folding it in a right way. It's much better than Plastic bags you receive at supermarkets or wrapping paper, since it's highly resistant, reusable and multipurpose. In fact, it's one of the symbols of traditional Japanese culture, and puts an accent on taking care of things and avoiding wastes.
It would be wonderful if the furoshiki, as a symbol of traditional Japanese culture, could provide an opportunity for us to reconsider the possibilities of a sound-material cycle society. As my sincere wish, I would like to disseminate the culture of the furoshiki to the entire world.[via www.env.go.jp]
According to the result of Eco Event conducted by Japan's Environment Ministry in October 2005, one plastic bag, weighing 8 to ten grams requires from 16 to 18 ml of crude oil to produce. Furthermore, it emits 30 g carbon dioxide during the process of manufacture and a further 31g of carbon dioxide during incineration. Imagine, by NOT using one plastic bag about 61 grams of polluting carbon dioxide is prevented from further degrading our breathing air! As well, the Ministry determined that 30 billion plastic bags are annually used in Japan requiring 0.6 million km liters for its manufacture resulting in a mountainous 0.6 million tons of garbage sent to overburdened landfills. Foregoing the use of plastic bags for daily shopping is vital to our planet's environmental health. Instead, by using a traditional furoshiki, (a square of cloth) definitely lowers carbon dioxide emissions thus becoming a positive contribution to the prevention of global warming.
Birch bark and fresh leaves are surprisingly pliable; just roll and secure with twine. Find them in Asian markets and outdoors.
Clockwise from top left: Banana leaf with cinnamon, bamboo leaves with hemp twine, bamboo leaves with star anise, banana leaves with reeds, birch bark with a feather.
Biodegradable stuffing cushions small, fragile items just as well as plastic bubble wrap or Styrofoam peanuts, a recycler's worst nightmare.
Clockwise from top left: Used wrapping paper, shredded; unsalted peanuts in their shells; air-popped popcorn; a pine bough.
Easy to find and work with, vintage and repurposed papers add pop to presents. Layer several colors and textures, or add vintage beads for a finished look.
Clockwise from top left: Vintage wallpaper; Chinese newspaper topped with colored paper; recycled map; grocery bag with Japanese beads.
Created by Donna Garlough and Lauren Sanders; photographs by Karl Juengel; styling by Dawn Sinkowski [via WholeLiving.com]