Our kitchens are some of the most wasteful spots in our home
Between plastic wrap, plastic bags and Ziploc bags, kitchens are filled with disposable products. With Waste Reduction Week (October 18th to 24th) upon us, there’s no better time to make a switch towards reusable—and beeswax cotton wraps are an easy and useful swap.
Beeswax wraps (or vegan wraps, which omit the beeswax) are a great replacement for most kitchen plastic alternatives, primarily plastic wrap and snack bags. The adhesive side allows them to stick to any bowl or container, wrap leftover cheese or cut fruit, or even to “cork” an open bottle of wine or cider.
Their lifespan is about a year, depending on how much you use them, and you can revitalize them by throwing them in the oven for a minute or two. Due to beeswax’s antibacterial properties, they allow your food to breathe without letting any bad bacteria in, which keeps your food fresher for longer.
So let’s learn to make our own in order to reduce scraps around the house and have a little crafty, zero-waste fun this fall.,,
- A baking sheet
- Parchment paper or silicone mat
- Measuring spoons
- Paint brush (kitchen/food use only)
- Large popsicle stick or other compostable stir stick
- Glass measuring cup
- Organic/cotton fabric (use new, scraps from previous projects, or old tablecloths or bed linens)
- 1 tbsp organic jojoba oil
- 35 oz pine resin (sustainably sourced and harvested)
- 25 oz beeswax pellets or grated beeswax (locally and/or sustainably harvested)
VEGAN FOOD WRAP OPTION (BEESWAX-FREE)
- Organic/cotton fabric
- 75 oz pine resin (sustainably sourced and harvested)
- 5 oz organic carnauba wax
- 1 tbsp organic jojoba oil
Makes 2 to 3 12x12-inch cloths. You can also cut fabric to size for your most-used dishes.
- Wash and dry your fabric prior to using.
- Cut your fabric to the sizes and shapes that you’d like, or use the standard 12x12 square.
- Place pine resin, beeswax/carnauba wax and jojoba oil in a glass measuring cup and set the cup in a saucepan. Add water to saucepan until the mixture inside the measuring cup is below the waterline. Turn burner up to medium-high heat and allow your ingredients to melt for about 20 to 25 minutes.
- Preheat your oven to 300 degrees F.
- Lay out your fabric (pattern side up) on a baking sheet. You can lay it flat on parchment paper, or on a food-safe silicone mat.
- Once your mixture is melted, stir it and use your brush to distribute it lightly across the fabric. Start lightly and make a thin layer.
- Put your baking sheet in the oven for two minutes or until your fabric looks wet. Remove from the oven and look for any dry spots you may have missed. You can brush over the fabric with some more of the mixture and if you notice that it’s uneven, place in the oven for another minute or two to smooth it out.
- Hang to dry, then repeat steps with additional fabrics.
HOW TO CLEAN YOUR BEESWAX WRAPS
Wash in cool water with mild soap. Dry on a drying rack and store folded up on your counter in a Mason jar, or in a drawer away from a heat source.
REFRESH YOUR WRAPS
Pop them in the oven, remove, then brush a light coat of mixture over the cloth.
GET CREATIVE WITH YOUR WRAPS
Fold your wraps into sandwich bags or snack pouches for an easy way to pack your lunch.
And that’s it! Beeswax wraps are an easy alternative to plastic wrap and a fun fall activity to make for you and your friends and family. They also make great birthday and holiday gifts, or you can throw one on a dish you’re bringing for a gathering and gift it to the host.