As Purim approaches, many people are busy preparing their ‘Mishloach Manot’, or the gift baskets we send to each other for Purim.
Usually the focus is on what goes into the baskets. With an eye toward Jewish environmentalism, I’d like to focus on the basket itself. When my kids were little we would take paper plates and staple them into triangles so they looked like a giant Hamentaschen. We would fill them and then put coloured tissue paper in the opening to look like the filling. As the kids grew up, they began to receive gift bags from their friends and thought of also sending gift bags.
Rather than going and buying a specific bag to be used for the Mishloach Manot, I would like to suggest a few ideas that would address the idea of recycling items from within our homes to fulfill a Mitzvah.
I am often bothered by the tangerine wooden boxes. They are large and cumbersome. I have seen people at the grocery store ask the cashier if they can empty the tangerines into a plastic bag and leave the box at the counter. Now I would like to suggest taking the boxes home and storing them for use as Mishloach Manot containers. They would be a perfect size for sending something to a family or a group of friends.
For smaller Mishloach Manot, consider saving the empty tissue boxes. They’re also sturdy, a nice size and already decorated.
Instead of using tissue paper to cover the box, it would be nice to use a bandana or kitchen towel.
This way it’s old school with charm and Jewish values.