Friday, October 16, 2009

It Started with a Sheet of Newspaper

It started about 40 years ago, I think. I had run out of wrapping paper and was low on money. So I went to the newspaper stack instead and used the comics to cover my present and keep the surprise factor. My family commented and tied this action in with the family legend that I still had the first five dollar bill I ever earned. Over the years I kept doing it and even switched to wrapping gifts with other--less colorful--sections of the newspaper. It became my signature and it really felt good to be saving money and sending a message with every gift I wrapped in this manner. The interesting thing about messages you send is that they often come back to you and instruct. In this case, the wrapping made we think about not only the wrapping of birthday and holiday offerings but of the gifts themselves. Was I giving good gift? And for me that meant quality rather than quantity and meaning rather than mass. Once you open the door to thinking about consumption, you really start to think about consumption. It can start with a simple thing like repurposing a read newspaper and can end up changing your life for the better of all living creatures. Think about all that you use and become someone who thinks about the consequences of consumption and does something about it.

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