SAVE MONEY AND THE EARTH
The gift of green
By Mary Kaye Ritz
Advertiser Staff Writer
By Mary Kaye Ritz
Andrea Weymouth-Fujie of East Honolulu Clothing Company can wield a scissors and tape like a Jedi with his light saber.
When it comes to gift-wrapping, she is Yoda, offering sage advice for finding ways to pretty up your holiday packages.
It's an especially welcome idea in this day and age, when one doesn't want to spend as much on the wrapping as we do on the gift. And besides saving money, it's all about being green, since she uses reclaimed items.
"The message we're trying to get out this year is: Save money on the wrap and make that yourself, so you can spend money wisely on the gift," said Paul McRandle, deputy editor of National Geographic's Green Guide publication.
Sometimes, however, having a prettily wrapped gift at the front of the tree adds to the anticipation of the season, said Weymouth-Fujie, who held a workshop at her Waimanalo store earlier this month.
To get their signature gift wrap style, she and her artistic staff use recycled bubble wrap, plastic grocery bags, glass jars and even painting paper from the hardware store, which is cheaper than plain brown wrap.
Paper bags could also be a basic wrapping material.
A particularly clever innovation cooked up by the East Honolulu Clothing Company crew is using plastic grocery bags to make a twine-like ribbon.
First, Weymouth-Fujie took a plastic grocery bag and cut it into one long strip, like an unbroken orange peel. Then production manager Marc Yoakum — who had already decided there had to be a better way to twist the long strip — got his drill.
They attached one end of the long strip to the area where the drill bit goes, and Weymouth-Fujie held the other end. Within minutes, a ribbon was tightly twisted.
Weymouth-Fujie tied it up to keep the twist, then reached for markers to add a touch of color.
"That's what makes it — ta-dah!" she exclaimed.
There are principles of good decoration: The plainer the basic package, the fancier you can get with toppings, and vice versa.
Weymouth-Fujie covered a plain brown shirt box with Japanese floral paper, added greenery from the yard, some ribbon, and voila! A box elegant enough to suit even the Martha Stewart on your Santa list.
Not feeling particularly artistic, but want to save the planet anyway? Plenty of stores sell wrapping and holiday cards made from 100 percent recycled paper.Los Angeles Times writer Andrea Chang contributed national information in this report.