One simple change we can make to reduce our plastic usage is to start using beeswax wraps instead of cling film to cover food we put in the fridge. I’ve bought and received some of these as gifts over the past few years and they are terrific. They work in keeping food fresh and covered and are a natural alternative to plastic wrap.
These types of wraps can be expensive to buy and sometimes the colours or patterns aren’t necessarily to your liking so making them yourself is an easy alternative. Not being a very competent crafter, I didn’t want to sacrifice a good saucepan so I went to a second hand store and bought one for $2. The beeswax and instructions I bought online and the kit also came with one patch of cloth to use as a practice piece.
The process was pretty straight forward, have pieces of material precut to the size you want, and use pinking shears to ensure that the material doesn’t fray on the edges. Melt the beeswax in the saucepan on low heat, then using a small pastry style brush, paint wax on one material square at a time using an iron and two sheets of greaseproof paper, (one underneath and one covering) pushing the wax to the edges of the material with the iron. I found painting lines across the material worked best and it’s best to start with less wax, you can always add more as you go to ensure the entire piece of material is covered right to the edges.
You have to work quickly as the wax solidifies again easily, but you can always reheat and melt it as you go, until you’ve used up the entire amount of wax and / or material pieces. This was my first attempt at it and I was pretty pleased with the results. The best part of making your own is that you choose the material and sizes that you want. How many you make will depend on how much wax you start with and what size covers you make, but for a small amount of wax I made more than half a dozen which will cover small bowls or wrap cheese etc…
Clean up isn’t too hard either, melt any residual wax in the saucepan then wipe out with paper towel and after that, use vegetable oil in the still warm saucepan to get rid of any remaining wax, then wash in hot soapy water. As I will probably be using the same pan and brush in future for more wraps, I have kept them together and tucked away for the next project.
Use the warmth of your hands to mould the wraps around the container or food you want to cover and simply wash and reuse as needed. To keep them clean, rinse in cool to warm water and allow to air dry. There are a number of businesses online where you can buy DIY kits for making wax wraps so why not give it a go, for some useful food protectors to use at home and in the caravan which take up less space than plastic wrap and are much better for the environment.