By: Mary Deasy
Furoshiki means “package” or “present” and is a traditional Japanese cloth used to transport items. The word refers to both the craft and also the cloth. The method, which originated around 710 B.C., has become popular globally as an eco-friendly gift wrapping alternative. Traditionally the clothes have unique decorative designs; however, you can also use any square fabric that you have from an old project, or a scrap shirt.
In Flanders, approximately 34 million newspapers are printed, never sold and thrown away each year. On top of this number, many still receive newspapers but toss them soon after, adding to the mountain of paper waste. If you have a newspaper lying around your house, try reusing it this Sinterklaas! This zero-waste gift wrapping method is colourful and fun. Finding the right newspaper that highlights or ties into your present is key. You can use the crossword to write a holiday greeting or use the comic section to add some humor to your gift – pick a fun or cheerful page and watch your family and friends' excitement as they open your gift.
This easy gift box idea is quick, perfect for any small gift and doesn’t require scissors! Fold one end inward, fill the box and fold the other end! Decorate with leftover ribbon or yarn, a pine cone, dried apple, cinnamon stick, pine sprig, or any other eco-friendly decoration.
Add a little extra something to your Sinterklaas gift surprise by making a personalised edible gift tag. Using a simple gingerbread recipe, make sure to cut out a small hole for a string before baking. Use a piping bag or a very steady hand and write the name or initials with icing. After opening the gift, your child can enjoy the tasty treat!
Gift wrapping is a large part of the Sinterklaas experience. However, the gift inside is also important. Here are our top eco-friendly Sinterklaas gift ideas - for more inspiration, check out BedRock for some great sustainable gift ideas.
It’s hard to go wrong with an edible surprise. Sinterklaas has many great edible traditions from pepernoten to almond bars and chocolate letters. Check out these festive Sinterklaas recipes and surprise your family or friends with a homemade, edible, delicious gift! Avoid plastic-wrapped sweets from the store and consider a homemade recipe that will not only excite your children but make your kitchen smell fantastic!
Rather than buying another toy that will be used once, try engaging your child with a project. For example, a birdhouse. This is a great way to teach your child construction and critical thinking skills while also having a functional item to put in your garden for the birds this winter! This activity will lead to a sense of achievement for your children and a self-made creatioon that they can admire from their window.
If you’re trying to save some money and want to upcycle gifts or repurpose household products, why not try our favourite handmade gifts for your kids this Sinterklaas.
Sinterklaas is an exciting time for anyone and choosing to be more sustainable during the holiday does not mean the day has to lose any of its festive excitement.
As you begin wrapping and preparing your Sinterklaas gifts this year, consider choosing materials you already have around the house. Try repurposing household items for gifts or wrapping. Use natural materials to wrap your gifts and preheat your oven for some festive Sinterklaas baking projects! With any luck your sustainable surprise will be your best one yet!
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