As middle class Indians, somewhere the concepts of thrift and of being kind to the planet were embedded into us right from the start. Whether it was little things like turning out the lights when you left a room or reusing dishwater to water your garden, or selling old newspapers and magazines to the kabadi wala, one was just intuitively geared towards reusing and recycling. One of the great joys of birthday party gifts was to slowly and ever-so-carefully peel off the cellotape and take the paper off and keep to away to be reused. I still wince when I watch TV shows where one of the characters rips the wrapping paper off and shucks it away.
Particularly now that I have kids, the need to make them responsible citizens is all the more critical. Luckily Chubbocks' school also has an environmental science program that starts from kindergarten and teaches kids about conservation. So this year, I got Chubbocks to make wrapping paper at home to wrap birthday gifts for his friends. It's recycling and it's creative. Plus it gives the kids something to keep them busy when they're revved up about a birthday party!
What we did was to dig out old white-coloured newspapers. I cut out a flower and a leaf from a potato and poured some water colour paint into plastic cups. Both kids were at it for hours and we ended up with a wrapping paper that looked pretty and original.