MAKE Magazine’s blog points to a PDF file from Japan’s environment ministry about using furoshiki, traditional carrying and wrapping cloths in lieu of the omnipresent plastic bags used for shopping. Elsewhere on the ministry site you may read about new furoshiki printed to promote lower carbon emissions, including some made of recycled PET (plastic #1) bottles. MAKE suggests the technique be adopted for holiday gift wrap for its readers, but the form extends to light portage. (The watermelon toting sling, the suika tsutsumi, might be good for carrying casseroles to a church pot luck.) I’m thinking about using holiday napkins and square tablecloths and saving some paper.
MAKE also points out a reduced CD of Wikipedia articles selected for children’s education. You can download it (if you have broadband) and burn it onto a disc as an open-source stocking stuffer. (I’m getting a copy and will let you know how it looks later.) Later. Don’t bother. What a mess! What kind of encyclopedia has wasabi but not cabbage? Windhoek and Torquay but neither New York nor London? Puts albinism under places?