Every year, almost 14 million metric tons of new plastic waste end up in the oceans, and 46% of this waste is comprised of commonly used items such as shrink wrap, kitchen cling film, sandwich bags, candy wrappers, resealable storage bags, and bubble wrap. Plastic wrap is not biodegradable, meaning it can persist in the environment for hundreds of years. As it breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces, it can be ingested by wildlife, leading to injury or death.
Do you want to do your part to reduce waste and promote sustainability, but don't know where to start? Look no further! Beeswax wraps are an excellent eco-friendly option to storing food. Making your own beeswax wraps is a fun and easy DIY project that can help you reduce your carbon footprint and even save money in the long run.
Beeswax wraps are a natural and eco-friendly alternative to plastic wrap for storing food. They can be used to wrap fruits, vegetables, cheese, bread, and many other food items. This guide will show you step-by-step how to make your own natural and eco-friendly food wraps that are perfect for storing your favorite foods.
The issue with plastic wraps and why beeswax wraps are better
Using beeswax wraps instead of plastic wraps is a more sustainable option for the environment in several ways.
Firstly, beeswax wraps are reusable and can last up to a year with proper care, whereas plastic wrap is typically used once and then thrown away. By using beeswax wraps, we are reducing the amount of single-use plastic that ends up in landfills and the environment, where it can take hundreds of years to decompose.
Secondly, beeswax wraps are made from natural materials such as cotton and beeswax, which are biodegradable and compostable. In contrast, plastic wrap is made from non-renewable petroleum-based materials that do not break down easily, leading to long-term environmental pollution.
Thirdly, the production of beeswax wraps has a lower carbon footprint than the production of plastic wrap. The manufacturing process for plastic wrap involves the extraction and processing of petroleum, which requires a significant amount of energy and releases greenhouse gas emissions. In contrast, beeswax is a natural and renewable resource that requires less energy and resources to produce. Most households already have fabric needed for the wrap anyways!
Finally, using beeswax wraps encourages sustainable habits by promoting a zero-waste lifestyle. By using natural and reusable materials to store food, we are reducing our reliance on single-use plastic and promoting a more sustainable and mindful approach to consumption.
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to make your own beeswax wraps.
Materials you will need:
- Grated beeswax (be sure to get a food-grade option)
- 100% cotton fabric (organic is preferable)
- Pinking shears or fabric scissors
- Parchment paper
- Baking sheet
- Paintbrush or sponge brush
- Clothesline or drying rack
- Cut the fabric to the desired size using pinking shears or fabric scissors. A good starting point is 8x8 inches for small items and 12x12 inches for larger items.
- Preheat the oven to 185°F (85°C).
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the fabric on top.
- Sprinkle the grated beeswax evenly over the fabric. Use enough to cover the entire surface of the fabric, but not so much that it drips off the edges.
- Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven for 5-7 minutes or until the beeswax has melted and spread evenly over the fabric. Keep an eye on the wrap to make sure the wax doesn't start to smoke.
- Once the beeswax has melted, use a paint brush or sponge brush to spread the wax evenly over the fabric. Make sure to cover the edges and corners of the fabric.
- Carefully remove the baking sheet from the oven and lift the fabric off the parchment paper.
- Hold the wrap up and wave it in the air for a few seconds to help cool and set the wax.
- Hang the wrap on a clothesline or drying rack to dry and cool completely. This should only take a few minutes.
- Once the wrap is cool and dry, it is ready to use. To wrap food, simply use the warmth of your hands to mold the wrap around the item.
- Use 100% cotton fabric to ensure the wrap is breathable and food-safe.
- Organic cotton is preferable to avoid any potential pesticide residue.
- Pinking shears help prevent the fabric from fraying, but fabric scissors will also work.
- Be careful not to overheat the beeswax as it can start to smoke and become a fire hazard.
- Avoid using hot water to clean the wrap as it will melt the wax. Instead, use cold water and a mild soap if necessary.
- Beeswax wraps can be reused multiple times and can last up to a year with proper care.
Making your own beeswax wraps is a simple and eco-friendly DIY project that can help reduce waste and save money. With a few basic materials and these step-by-step instructions, you can easily make your own natural and reusable food wrap that is perfect for storing your favorite foods. A fruitful activity for yourself, kids or friends. Have fun!
Get your food-grade beeswax here.