Want to do something that will help the environment? It is simple, kinda fun, and makes a big impact. According to One Green Planet, the average person uses one pound of plastic bags or about 540 baggies.
Now, multiply that by the number of people…oh, is that too much math? Well, I think you get the idea. It’s more bags than really needed, especially when you consider the cost of all those baggies compounded by what they do to our environment. A little side note, a few years ago a friend was driving along and there was a bag floating down the street. She didn’t think anything of it until her car stopped, literally in the middle of her drive home. Turns out the bag was sucked into her engine and melted on the electronics ~ the bill was staggering! Let’s keep bags and baggies out of both our landfills and our streets.
So how will we do this? Great question! Wax food wrappers. Sure, you could buy them. But why not make them. When I say simple, I mean simple. You might even consider making them with your family. I would caution against small children doing this project and a parent or adult should be vigilant in supervising. Heat is involved and I wouldn’t want anyone to get burned or injured. Alright, now that you know why and to take precaution let’s talk about how.
- Fabric, 100% cotton or even organic cotton
- Bees Wax
- Pinking Shears
- Parchment Paper
You can recycle fabric you have. I found this cute selection at my local craft store. They sold it in fat quarters so I bought a couple. I liked how it would compliment my kitchen decor.
I also purchased the bees wax at the craft store, as you can see it is a bit on the yellow or cream side. They did not have bees wax in white in stock, you can order it online and I would suggest that if you are using a fabric that is predominantly white.
The pinking shears are optional, you can cut your fabric to the desired shape and size with regular scissors. The pinking shears just keep the edges of the fabric from fraying.
How To Make The Wraps
- Wash and dry your fabric. Iron if needed or you want to, it’s not necessary.
- Cut your fabric to the desired size and shape. I made several wraps of differing sizes and shapes.
- I did decide to put an old towel on my counters and use that as my ironing board for this project. It was nice to have just a bit more space than what my ironing board allows.
- Place a layer of parchment paper down on your surface.
- Place your fabric, if it has a pattern put that facing up.
- Add a layer of beeswax pellets making sure it is a thin layer. As they melt, the wax will spread easily across the fabric.
- Place another layer of parchment paper over the fabric with the wax beads, making sure it completely covers the fabric. My wax actually oozed out and it was hot so be careful.
- Use your iron on a low heat, no steam and begin run it over the top layer of parchment and you will see the wax underneath melt. Make sure the edges of the fabric are covered with wax.
- Carefully remove the top layer of parchment paper. Slowly peel the wrap off the bottom layer of parchment and lay the wrap in spot to cool.
- There you have it ~ fun, easy, money-saving and planet friendly project!
Tips on using Beeswax Wraps
- Beeswax wraps are reusable.
- They can be washed using a mild soap and allowed to air dry.
- Do not use them in the microwave or near any heat source.
- They are good for about 1 year.
- You can put food wrapped in them in the freezer, but they won’t prevent freezer burn.
- They are great for fruits and vegetables, sandwiches and cheese; but they are not a good idea for raw meats. Use glass containers for that. You can use them for, say, turkey sandwiches.
- The warmth from your hands will make the wrap flexible so that it will stick to the bowl or item you are wrapping.
One last comment ~ other “recipes” for beeswax wraps might include jojoba oil and tree resin. Store bought wraps will likely contain these item, too. The oil and resin make the wrap stickier so you can add them if you want, but I felt like that just made the experience a little more complicated than need be. Also, some other recipes will use the oven to heat the layers of parchment, fabric and beeswax as stacked on a cookie sheet. You would then use a paint brush to make sure the melted wax covers the entire surface of the fabric. Again, that seemed more complicated than necessary.
Well, gang, that’s all I have for now. Happy Earth Day, and, enjoy making your little corner of the world a little greener!