DIY beeswax food wraps – on the journey to more eco-friendly living
I’ve been interested in “Saving the planet” since forever, though I have to admit that I didn’t really know what I needed to do.
Whether you are a climate change activist or not, it’s clear that our planet is changing.
In 2012, I was travelling around Southeast Asia and I visited Cambodia. I really enjoyed my time there, met some lovely people, saw some amazing sights and learned a little about the history and culture. Overall, it was a great trip. However, one of the things that surprised me there that I hadn’t seen in other countries was the amount of waste discarded by the side of roads.
As I travelled on rickety minibuses through villages, countryside and towns, everywhere was littered with plastic bottles and packaging. I imagine the reason this was more prevalent in Cambodia has to do with their not having recycling, waste collection and landfill sites. It made me think. Seeing all of that rubbish was shocking. But back here in the UK I know that we consume just as much, if not more, plastic and packaging. Yes, some of our packaging, bottles, tins and plastic can be recycled. But lots cannot. And just because ours is put into a black bin and taken away doesn’t mean that It’s not just as damaging.
Up until that point, it was definitely a case of “out of sight, out of mind” when it came to my own plastic consumption. But now I’m much more conscious of it.
I can’t say that upon my return I miraculously stopped consuming plastic and became pure and eco-friendly. Plastic is everywhere and part of most everyday objects in our modern lives. Avoiding plastic is very difficult and often I would find the idea so overwhelming that I’d think what’s the point of me trying to do this when the rest of the world is going to carry on consuming plastic anyway? But I always come back to one idea I read a long time ago. It was that it’s not your job to save the world. In fact, it’s impossible for any one person to save the world. But in your lifetime, all you have to do it take the steps you can to make things better. If every person does the little bit they can, things will move in the right direction.
So, I have begun a journey towards using more sustainable and/or recyclable materials and in this blog I’m going to share my homemade beeswax food wraps. These are a great alternative to tin foil, cellophane or plastic Tupperware and they are super easy and quick to make. They’re great for wrapping food to put in the fridge, packaging up sandwiches or even covering bowls. They will mould to whatever shape you need and stay there until you unfold them and can easily be washed with a little washing up liquid and water ready to use again!
You will need:
Beeswax (pellets or a block and grater)
A paint brush (one that you will only use for this purpose)
Washing line (if it’s a clear day) or a string to make and indoor washing line and some pegs
Pre-heat your oven to 85 degrees C and prepare somewhere to hang your finished wraps. I tied a piece of string between 2 door handles.
Cut your fabric to whatever size you’d like to make your wrap. I made a few different sizes: a couple at 20cm square and a smaller one at 18cm x 10cm. You can make whatever size you like and it’s nice to have a few variations for wrapping different things.
Place a sheet of baking paper onto a baking tray and lay one piece of fabric on top.
If using beeswax pellets, sprinkle evenly across the fabric. For a block, you'll need to grate the wax onto the fabric. You don’t need tons, just start with a thin layer. Close the oven and wait a minute or so. It won’t take long for the wax to melt.
Once the wax is melted, use your brush to spread it evenly across the fabric, including the edges and corners. Add more wax if necessary and repeat until the whole piece of fabric is covered with wax.
Remove the fabric from the oven and hang to dry, It doesn’t take long for them to dry – as soon as they’re cooled a little they will harden and be ready to use. And that’s it! Repeat for as many pieces of fabric as you need and once they’re dry they will be ready to use right away.