December 17th, 2008
strong> By John DeFore
Wait! Before you run those last-minute holiday errands, consider: Do you really need to replenish that gift-wrap supply?
Even folks who reject the option some of our Depression-trained grandparents embraced — save up the Sunday newspaper’s funny pages for a colorful and waste-free wrap — may find packaging options that don’t require buying roll after roll of glossy new paper.
In Japan, where packaging of even everyday goods is often exquisite, people have for centuries been knotting gifts up in beautiful cloth that can be reused by the recipient later. The practice is known as furoshiki, and while many specialists in furoshiki-geared cloth have Japanese-only web sites (click here for an English look at what we’re missing), others happily make their wares (which may be adorned with lovely scenic paintings or intricate geometric patterns) available to Westerners as well.