Sustainable Products

Sustainable gifting for this festive season

This festival season, as we get ready to share our love with our near and dear ones, a little planning and creativity can help us prevent create a mountain of waste made of packaging and gift wrapping paper! By using reusable and biodegradable packaging we can we move towards more sustainable gifting options.

One of the simplest ways to make the change is to use fabric for gift wrapping. Using fabric is also a great way to upcycle old saris! All you need to do is cut a fabric of your choice into a square shape of required size and hem the edges. As a rough thumb rule the size of the fabric should be at least 2.5 times the size of the object that need to be wrapped.

The Japanese art of Furoshiki, uses fabric for wrapping gifts, books and other objects in various styles. See our Dāman Page here to know more about different Furoshiki wrapping styles.

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Fabric gift wrapping using Furoshiki techniques- Photo Credit, Brinda Ayer, Oct 2018

Another easy and fun way to upcycle paper is to create your own wrapping paper by block printing on an old newspaper. This is a great activity to do with your kids on a weekend afternoon. My little one has block printed the newspaper that we have used for the gift wrap shown in the image below!

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Gift wrapping paper made using newspaper and block printing , Photo Credit, Brinda Ayer, October 2018

Using Jute pouches is a sustainable and easily available option for small objects. We have used small jute pouches to pack our small Diwali hampers with honey and spices. We have packed the spices in compostable tea bags/herb infusers, making the gift pack almost plastic free ( the glass honey bottles have a plastic seal)

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A plastic free mini Diwali gift hamper with honey and spices packed in jute and bio-degradable teabags – PC, Brinda Ayer, October 2018
Sustainable Products

Beeswax food wrap

Schools in Mumbai have started in full swing after the scorching summer break and in addition to the monsoon, Mumbai is drowning in the plastic ban crisis. Never before has the ubiquitous plastic bag achieved such an exalted status!

Every morning all urban* mothers (and hopefully some fathers) are facing the conundrum of packing the ‘school dabba’ without using plastic cling film and other  packaging. Plastic cling film, tissue paper and aluminum foil have unfortunately become integral to our dabba packing process. While aluminum  and paper towels are not on the banned list, they are a scarce resource that require large amounts of energy for production.

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School Dabba, PC – Brinda Ayer, July 2018

(* I refer to an urban population as studies have shown that higher the income group  greater is the household waste generated, especially non-compostable waste including plastic, paper and glass.)

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Plastic, paper and aluminum foil wraps, PC – Brinda Ayer, August 2018

Ironically, many schools in other western countries are now promoting waste free lunches, where children’s lunch boxes do not include any disposable packing. I think it is a wonderful idea which can easily be adopted by schools here. It is also a gentle reminder to us that many of our traditional household practices were more environment friendly (Including packing a waste free dabba!). As a child, I do not recall carrying any disposable packing in the school snack box.

Hence, in search of a better alternative to plastic film, paper napkins and aluminum foil, I came across beeswax food wraps. This is what people used in ancient times to seal and preserve food !

Manufactured from honeycombs, natural beeswax is an  inert material and is safe for contact with food. It is also anti fungal and anti bacterial in nature.

Urban Creative introduces Madhu Wrap, one of the first beeswax food wraps in India which is handcrafted using locally sourced materials and fabrics. Madhu Wrap is a natural, reusable and biodegradable alternative to plastic wraps and aluminum foil.

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Madhu Wrap by Urban Creative – The Handcrafted Beeswax food wrap, PC – Brinda Ayer, August 2018

If you would like more information or would like to purchase a set contact us here