The holidays are over and you once again have leftovers to store! If you’re like us, the amount of plastic wrap you and/or plastic containers your loved ones go through makes you cringe. This one-time-use, landfill-bound storage solution is both wasteful and damaging to the environment. However, most people consider it a necessary evil. But we’re here to fill you in on a little-known alternative that doesn’t involve plastic wrap or cheap storage containers. Read on for a little history on food storage, natural options for food storage, and how to make your own eco-friendly options!
History of Food Storage
Storing food has been a concern of humankind forever. Once food is harvested, whether vegetation or meat, it begins to lose its nutritional value. Before modern technology, our ancestors relied on the elements (and happy accidents) to preserve their food for as long as possible. Today, many of the products we purchase have preservatives added. We also have the ability to store food in our freezers and refrigerators, which greatly extends the life of meat and produce. Once we had access to cold storage, the next thought was how to safely store any food that was not used during a meal. Enter Tupperware containers and other versions of plastic food storage containers. While Tupperware makes food storage and transportation easy, the use of plastic is not very eco-friendly. Plastic wrap is another popular food storage solution, but again, the amount of waste that goes into the product before and after use is harsh on the environment.
Why Use Natural Products?
One of the best natural food storage options we’ve found are beeswax wraps! A beeswax wrap is a reusable option that can replace plastic wrap. It is sustainable, and made of natural products. After use, these wraps can be washed, dried, and stored until the next use! Although a beeswax wrap won’t last forever, it has a typical usage life of up to one year. Once it loses its grip, it can be composted, which is another win in the eco-friendly column!
How to Make Your Own
You can purchase beeswax wraps from numerous companies. However, with the ease of purchase comes a higher price tag. If you’re all about the idea of natural beeswax wraps but not into paying an arm and a leg, follow the recipe below to easily create your own beeswax wraps!
What you’ll need:
- 100% organic cotton fabric
- 10 grams pine resin
- 5 grams beeswax pellets
- 15 mL jojoba oil
- Large popsicle stick (compostable stirrer)
- Parchment paper
- Paint brush
What to do:
- Wash and dry your cotton fabric.
- Cut your fabric into the desired shapes and sizes. To get the most use out of your wraps, anticipate what size bows/containers you will most likely be using your beeswax wraps with. You’ll want to have enough extra fabric that it completely covers (and hangs over) the opening of the container.
- Preheat the oven to 150ºC.
- Add pine resin, beeswax, and jojoba oil in a double boiler or glass measuring cup. Place in a saucepan on the stove.
- Fill the saucepan with water until the mixture inside your measuring cup/boiler is below the waterline. Turn the burner to medium-high heat.
- Allow ingredients to melt together (20-25 minutes).
- Place a sheet of parchment paper on a large cookie sheet (the parchment paper should be larger than your biggest piece of fabric!).
- Spread your cotton fabric piece (or pieces, if there’s room) flat onto the parchment paper.
- Brush your mixture LIGHTLY onto the fabric. You can always add more if you need to, but it’s hard to get rid of excess.
- Place the cookie sheet in the heated oven for 2 minutes (fabric should look wet).
- Remove from the oven and look for any dry spots. Brush the mixture over the uncovered areas. (If you notice unevenness, place it back in the oven for a few minutes to smooth it out.)
- Hang your completed wrap(s) up to dry (this should only take a few minutes).
- Repeat the steps with your fabric pieces until you are out of the mixture.
This recipe can make two or three 30.5 x 30.5 cm cloths.
Ready to try your hand at making beeswax wraps? At Nezza Naturals, we have the products you need. All of our items we sell are 100% natural and handmade. We’ve included the links to the products you’ll need for making wraps above, but in case you missed them, here they are!
Check out our website, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Instagram to see product reviews and other clients’ comments. Feel free to browse our site and explore our other amazing natural products. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or reach out via phone at 1.250.388.9171 with any questions you may have!