Wrapped up

Not being one to follow fashion, despite its title, this post is not an end-of-year wrap-up, but about something closer to my heart… packaging.

All this surrounding some small headphones

All this surrounding some small headphones

A few weeks ago I bought myself some new headphones for my MP3 player. After much research, I selected some that should be robust and fit for purpose (listening to audiobooks at night when I can’t sleep and to help me fall asleep). They are the sort that fits into the ear and so they really are small. When they arrived, however, they were contained in a box measuring 13 x 14 x 4.2cm. The packaging included the outer box, an internal piece of cardboard and no less than three separate pieces of plastic. Now, these headphones could have fitted comfortably in a medium-sized matchbox,without the need for any plastic, but that wouldn’t have made them look ‘high quality’, I suppose. Indeed, a quick test revealed that a simple combination of matchbox and their carrying case would have been ideal packaging:

Headphones in (French) matchbox

Headphones in (French) matchbox

Matchbox in carrying case

Matchbox in carrying case

And all that was before we even got to Christmas. I love the idea of a wrapped present and we have a couple of bags containing suitable paper/boxes/bags for wrapping gifts, but most of it is second hand in some way. I collect pretty boxes and tissue paper, along with gift bags, paper and pretty envelopes in which to put gifts. I also collect ribbons  – you’d be surprised how many organic goods come wrapped in tissue paper with cotton ribbon or tape around.

The pile of waste outside just one house after Christmas

The pile of waste outside just one house after Christmas

But I am in the minority. A short walk on the day when refuse was due to be collected after Christmas revealed piles of wrapping and packaging waste. Not content with wasteful, throw-away gifts, it seems that we in the UK want to compound the horror with tons or wrapping paper. It really does sadden me that so many people care so little about our planet and are quite prepared to be profligate with our limited resources.

I didn’t plan to end the year on a gloomy note, so I will make a promise instead… in 2014 I will try to find more ways to encourage people to treasure and nurture our planet and take just a few more small steps (like the Snail of Happiness) towards sustainability.

Wishing you all a happy and sustainable new year!

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11 Comments

  1. You will be pleased to know that not a single gift was wrapped at our house…we just did stockings. 🙂

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  2. And to add insult to injury, the plastic is always virtually impossible to get into. The Japanese get it right when they wrap gifts beautifully in pieces of fabric which can then be re-used or repurposed. It’s known as furoshiki, and they produce pieces in various sizes for different purposes. It’s all folded and tucked. No beastly sticky tape, either.

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  3. It’s posts like yours that reaffirm my good view of human beings…well some of them! 🙂

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  4. Ah Mrs Snail, you are uplifting even when being gloomy. I checked out Joanna Macy and was uplifted yet again. I agree with her. The tide is turning. Your wonderful blog is an indicator. Now I am off to check out furoshiki. I know I am going to love it. 🙂

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  1. It’s Zero Waste Week | The Snail of Happiness

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