How I Do My Part
I've been avoiding plastic for a long time now. I didn't give my kids plastic sippy cups, we use glass food containers, etc. I admit, we still have a giant roll of cling wrap from CostCo. The thing has been with us since 2011. It's a giant roll. I am really trying to be mindful about my impact on the environment and I always try to find ways to make my carbon footprint smaller.
Here are some ways to reduce your impact on the environment:
- Reusable Beeswax foodwrap > They are a great way to store food without using plastic. This brand that I got infuses their organic cloth in essential oils to help give it antimicrobial properties. If you don't want to splurge, I will be posting instructions on how to make some yourself! :)
- Reusable silicone sponge > I have been using the Scotch-Brite Greener Clean sponge but finally gave in and bought myself some reusable silicone sponge. They are awesome and I love knowing I don't have to keep buying new ones. I bought a 5 pack and I rotate them every week. I soak the sponge in a vinegar bowl overnight to refresh it. These are also dishwasher safe [except, we have no dishwasher! ;)].
- Reusable Silicone Bags > Ziploc bags are expensive and plastic! They might be convenient for packing up sandwiches, snacks, etc but very wasteful and have you seen the plastic island?! These silicone bags are a great alternative! They can be frozen, used for cooking (Sous Vide), and microwavable [except we don't use microwaves ;)] and also dishwasher safe! They are very strong and it might be a pricey initial investment but it will pay for itself.
- Reusable paper towels > We cut so many trees when making paper towels. I know they sell paper towels made from recycled materials but this is a level up! When you do buy this, remind your husband and kids or any family member to not throw it away in the trash can. I had to remind my husband a few times until it stuck in his head.
These are just a few ways to reduce your impact on our environment. Please share how you and your family apply the three R's. Remember, we only have one Earth, let's all do our part to keep it alive. <3
Instructions for Reusable Beeswax Food Wrap
- 100% Cotton fabric (organic if you prefer, lightweight calico works well)
- Block of beeswax
- Baking sheet
- Parchment paper
- old no-longer-used cheese grater
- Begin by washing and drying your fabric. Cut it into pieces that are sized and shaped to suit your needs. Try rectangles and squares for wrapping food and circles to seal jars or bowls. To prevent any fraying, use pinking shears, but it isn't necessary if you don't own one.
- Turn on your oven to its lowest setting and keep the door a little ajar. Beeswax melts between 144 and 147° and will discolor above 185°, so make sure your oven doesn't get too hot. Use an oven thermometer as a guide, if you have one.
- Cover your baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper, then place the fabric on top.
- Grate beeswax over the fabric, trying to cover it evenly.
- Put your baking sheet into the oven and leave it for 5 minutes, keeping a close eye on it.
- when the wax has melted, remove the baking sheet and lift the fabric up to the light to check the coverage. The fabric should be almost opaque and you should be able to see the weave. Sprinkle more beeswax on any uncovered areas and pop it back in the oven if needed.
- When you are happy that the fabric is completely covered with wax, carefully remove the fabric from the baking sheet and lay on a clean piece of parchment paper to cool. Once cool, the wrap is ready to use.
To use the wraps, just use the heat if your hand to fold them around food or cover bowls and jars. The stiffness of the fabric will keep them closed with no need for clips or ties. To clean, just hand-wash in warm tap water with a little soap and gentle scrub. Once the warps are used and worn, make yourself a new set and move the old one onto your compost heap or cut them into strips and use them to wrap kindling for fire starters.
Instructions from the book Forgotten Ways for Modern Days by Rachelle Blondel