Monday, October 13, 2008

Don't look a gift horse .....

Dussera/ Diwali gifts have started arriving. We got this beautiful gift hamper from one of hubby’s clients the other day.

Four bottles of Vodka (manufactured and marketed by said client), nestling prettily in a highly polished wicker basket. The arrangement was beautiful – the blue and gold bow-tie sported by the bottles perfectly complementing the colour scheme of the bottles, which in turn looked lovely reclining in the sea of blue and white thermacol balls. The whole arrangement topped off with a layer of transparent cellophane and a huge white plastic bow.
Aesthetically pleasing and time consuming, the package proved that though the company used their own products, they were willing to lavish care on putting it together just so.
A perfect Dussera/ Diwali gift?
Or, a time bomb?

Thermacol balls – totally bio-undegradable, likely to be consumed by young children.
Coloured thermacol balls – how likely that the dye used is non-toxic?
Plastic bows – durable, but cannot be reused. They would either be thrown into the dustbin as such or torn to shreds and then thrown. Either way, environmental menace
Cellophane cover – chosen precisely because it would not dissolve in water, or tear on casual touch
Name tag – made of re-cycled paper, it was the only thing that got some points for eco-friendliness

Time was when gifts came wrapped in wrapping paper. We would spend hours opening them carefully, so the paper could be carefully folded and re-used the next time a gift had to be given. Bows were ribbons made of satin or nylon that ended up on ponytails of children or dolls.
Was all that so bad it had to be replaced by this?
If I start covering the gifts I give in newspaper with images painted on them, would people think I am a green citizen, or that I am cheap?
And what if everyone started doing the same?

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