COMMUNITY | December 2, 2016


5 Ways to Upcycle Your Gift Boxes


Continuing the legacy of Nepalese lokta paper


It’s always good to reuse and recycle. But when it comes to reusing items made with lokta paper produced in Nepal, the action takes on new meaning. In our 9th year partnering with Nepalese paper makers, Aveda is now producing paper for gift wrap, boxes, bags, and other giftable items during the holiday season.


Since the earthquake in 2015, the relationship has been particularly poignant as it is helps create income for more than 5,500 women*—who are, in turn, helping their families rebuild after the devastation.


Papermaking is a great way to support rural, impoverished areas of Nepal, as the shrub that yields the bark (Daphne bholua and Daphne papyracea) grows in communities where jobs are scarce. Equally impressive is the fact that the lokta shrub regenerates after cutting—ensuring that this important economic endeavor is sustainable and preserves the fragile forest ecology of mountainous Nepal.


Papermaking in Nepal



Of course, while supporting a worthwhile cause—by buying either one of 12 pre-packaged Aveda gift boxes or by creating a customized one starting in November—will make you feel good, too. Lokta paper is one of the world’s best quality acid-free papers. It is said that the paper lasts for 1,000 years if protected from sunlight. In fact, it’s so sturdy that the Nepalese government uses it for archiving important documents.


In the spirit of continuing the legacy of Nepalese lokta paper, we’ve put together a few new uses for your lokta boxes, so that they can live on in your home for years to come after you’ve emptied them of their gifts.


  1. 1. Store photos: Use a stack of them to stash pictures. Your three-by-fives will fit nicely in the medium box, while your four-by-sixes will rest comfortably in the large box. Don’t forget to stick a label on the outside of the box identifying the events at which you took your shots.
  2. 2. Gift cookies: We swear that sweets taste sweeter when presented in a pretty box.
  3. 3. Make a window garden: Line a box with a plastic bag and poke a few small holes at the bottom of the bag. Fill the bag with soil and drop in a couple of seeds—once the plant outgrows the box, transplant.
  4. 4. Craft coasters: Trace the bottom of a medium drinking glass onto the base of the box. Cut out the circles and use them to support smaller glasses.
  5. 5. Create wall art: Flip over the lids of the boxes and paint them or cover them in photos—then tack them onto the walls for memorable living-room décor.


*Full and part time, June 2015 – June 2016




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