Green Neighbors Program

The Clark County Green Neighbors Program was developed and is maintained by Clark County Solid Waste and Environmental Outreach to assist citizens with developing more sustainable lifestyles and building a strong environmental community in Clark County. Solid waste regional planning and programs are a cooperative effort of Battle Ground, Camas, Clark County, La Center, Ridgefield, Vancouver, Washougal, and Yacolt. Funding for this project provided by a grant from the Washington State Department of Ecology.

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DIY Beeswax Food Wraps

How many DIY projects help you up-cycle old fabric into a trendy, reusable material that is a waste reduction essential? Sure, you can buy a set of beeswax wraps to replace plastic film for about $15 online or at the store, but it's easy and affordable to make your own at home. Plus it's a great way to use any fabric scraps you may have laying around the house. Eliminate plastic cling wrap in your home and make the switch to beeswax wrap to maintain the freshness of your cut fruits, vegetables, leftovers and much more! 

Here's what you need to make a set of three medium sized wraps:

​100 percent cotton fabric
1 large cloth
​Sustainably sourced pine resin
0.35 oz.
​Beeswax pastilles or grated beeswax
​1.25 oz.
​Organic jojoba oil
​1 tbsp.
Disposable aluminum baking pan (don't worry you don't have to throw it away)1 12 x 6 x 3-inch baking pan (standard loaf size)
Tea candles​2-3 candles​
Metal potholder (or something that the baking pan can sit on while the lit tea candles are underneath)1 potholder
Large popsicle stick or other compostable stirrer1-2 stirrers​
Parchment paper​Enough paper to cover your workspace​

Instructions 


1) Select a piece of 100 percent cotton fabric –the bigger the better since it's almost as easy to make several as it is to make one. The fabric can come from an old dish towel, a T-shirt or a torn dress. Get creative and use what you have.

 Cut the fabric into the shape you'd like, either a circle or square. It doesn't have to be perfect but try to make your cuts even. The cut fabric should be big enough to cover the container of your choice with enough extra material to cling to the rim. You can make small wraps designed to cover Mason jar lids or big wraps to cover plates or large platters.

2) Gather the jojoba oil, pine resin and beeswax pellets together. Choose your workspace wisely. It's best to use a surface that is easy to scrape off any stray wax drops. You can also cover the surface in parchment paper to collect the drops and reuse both the parchment paper and wax drops next time you make wraps.

3) Light the tea candles under the potholder and place the baking pan on top of the potholder so that the flames are heating the pan.

4) When the bottom of the pan is hot slowly add the beeswax and let it melt while stirring gently. 

5) Add the jojoba oil and keep gently stirring the mixture.

6) Add the pine resin and keep gently stirring the mixture.

7) After all the ingredients are melted and mixed together, lightly lay the fabric into the pan. Use the stir stick to turn the fabric so that it is fully covered in the wax.

8) Continue turning the fabric around in the pan for at least one minute. Make sure there are no dry patches.

9) Remove the fabric from the pan and let the excess wax drip off the fabric on to parchment paper. The wax drops can be peeled off and added back to the pan after they dry.

10) Hang the finished beeswax wrap up to cool and dry evenly. You can do this on a clothesline or just hold it with your hands for a few minutes until the material is dry –it doesn't take long.

11) Repeat process until you have as many beeswax wraps as you need! These wraps make great gifts so don't be afraid to make even more than you need.

These reusable beeswax wraps can be washed by hand with soap and water. Wash gently to preserve the wax coating. Wraps will usually last about one year with normal use before the wax begins to wear off. The wraps can then be microwaved laying flat over parchment paper to cause the remaining beeswax to melt and recoat the surface of the fabric. More wax can be added if needed. With proper care these wraps can last for years –much longer than a single use piece of plastic wrap.

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