Crafting to replace plastic

Today I went food shopping. This really is not my favourite job and I usually buy locally from small suppliers or I buy in bulk. Today, I went to the supermarket. This always takes longer than any other shopping as there’s so many other tempting produce, that are not on my list, so I have to stop and look. Also, as I don’t go there often, every time I do, they have moved the shop around.

When I got home, I emptied all the packets into containers. I find those packets that have “re-sealable” tabs, don’t work for long, so I put everything in jars and containers as soon as I can. It also helps me to see how much I have left. As a result, when I finished I had an alarming pile of plastic containers on the table, that were destined for the bin. I did the maths and if I bought like this every week, then my throw away plastic would be much more than my normal shopping produces.

Among my shopping was this:


We have a few runny noses in the household at the moment. I bought these packets so that when the children are not with me, I want to encourage them to look after themselves. Having a tissue at hand, rather than relying on a grown up, is a small step on the road to independence. I thought the individual packets would be convenient, but I now look at them, with my pile of plastic, and it doesn’t seem such a great choice.

Ok, lesson learnt. Now I need a solution, so I don’t go down this route again. The school and nursery sent round the letters before Christmas about limiting the spread of swine flu. Among the advice/instructions was to bin tissues after use, so I’m not sure how popular a batch of homemade handkerchiefs would be. Shame, as this would be my first choice.

Then I remembered a gift I had received, way back when I was a teenager, from a friend. It was a Christmas fabric pouch, about the same size as my now disgraced plastic ones, with a slit in the middle to pull tissues out from. Perfect size for a pocket and if I used the right material, it might go down well at school. I could refill it with tissues from a box.

tissue pouch

So, I made a quick prototype, to see what the children think about using them. I am truly enjoying their recent creative inputs, so I’m hoping that they will suggest a different fabric choice, embellishments and size change. I’m hoping that through this design process they will grow to love the pouch. I need their buy-in on this one or else they won’t use it.

I shall have to wait for the morning.

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