When birthdays roll around, as they so often do, I have found myself increasingly striving to create something meaningful and natural as opposed to what society tells us should be a consumer enterprise. Case in point, I had the idea to give a mini green house to my amazing mom. As someone who has consumed a disgusting amount of chocolate peanut butter cups from Trader Joes, I had no shortage of clear plastic containers on hand to serve as the vessel. Next, I poked a series of holes in the container in order to allow for proper air circulation. After struggling with various sharp implements around the kitchen, I settled on the safest option- the little corn on a cob skewer that affixes to the end of a delicious corn on the cob. Note that while you don’t have to use corn cob sewers shaped like little pink piggies, they made the job that much more enjoyable 🙂 Then, from the many left over seed starts I had laying around- aside: this happens every time. I see a seed packet and feel immediately compelled to plant every last seed, just in case (as admittedly has been the case in the past) they don’t sprout, but instead I end up with trays or rows overflowing with sprouts that I don’t know what to do with- anyways, then I selected some of the choicest little plant specimens and placed them in the make-shift container and voila! A mini greenhouse gift for a loved one. For an added bonus, I have been playing around with alternative wrapping papers to avoid creating yet more waste. While my usual go to is paper bags from the grocery store (gulp! sometimes, read: often, I forget to bring in my reusable bags), recently I stumbled upon a stack of maps at a garage sale for 25 cents and have found their aesthetic to be superb! The 25 cent investment has keep me wrapping for at least three occasions and I still have a stack left! In case you don’t have old maps lying around, taking up space, I have also used the comics from the newspaper and have a best friend who loves using old surfer magazines 🙂 Lately I have been eyeing the 10 pound phone book that was dropped off on our doorstep, and I bet it would likely fit the bill as well!