$5K Summer Startup Scholarship applications open

Want to ditch your boring summer job and get paid $5K to work on your own business this summer?

Check out the UCE Summer Startup Programme – an awesome opportunity to fast-track your business or social enterprise by working on it full-time for 10 weeks over summer. 

You don’t need an up-and-running business, just an idea and drive to make cool stuff happen! 

Come along to an Information Session or contact uce@canterbury.ac.nz to find out more.

DIY Beeswax Wraps for Plastic Free July!

Last week, UC Sustainability held a DIY workshop to celebrate our favourite month – Plastic Free July!

Plastic Free July is a global movement that helps millions of people be a part of the solution to plastic pollution. It’s a month long challenge which encourages all of us to ‘choose to refuse’ single use plastics – like takeaway coffee cups, drink bottles, straws, bags and plastic wrappers. We decided we would tackle Plastic Free July by showing our UC community how to make their own alternatives to single use plastics – and we had so much fun doing so!

Almost 100 students (and staff too!) came along and learnt how to make a DIY beeswax wrap and a produce bag with us, so we could all ‘choose to refuse’ this month (and hopefully longer!).For those that missed out, we’ve put together a guide for making your own wraps at home – they make great presents for friends and family too! Read on to see how we made our own beeswax wraps with nothing but some organic beeswax (grated), cotton fabric, scissors, baking paper and an iron. We hope you’ll be inspired to tackle Plastic Free July with us!

Step one: gather your materials

We recommend using only 100% cotton for making beeswax wraps – but don’t feel as though you have to rush off to a fabric store! All the fabric in these photos are either old tee shirts, or are from second hand stores (sheets and pillow cases are usually 100% cotton, and come in funky patterns – just give them a wash and an iron before use). If you want to buy new, Spotlight often has sales on cotton, and there’s a heap of different fabrics to choose from.

We sourced our beeswax from a friend who has bees, but you can get unpackaged beeswax in a small block from most Farmers Markets (including Riccarton Bush and Lyttelton). Binn Inn also sells beeswax in small cubes, but we prefer a block for grating.

We went through a whopping 1kg of beeswax making 100 wraps, but 100g – 200g of beeswax will be more than enough for making your wraps at home!

Step two: cut to size
What sizes you’re after is totally up to you! Here’s the guidelines we used:

  • Small (17cm x 20xm) is good for covering leftover dips, the end of a cucumber, half an avo, or the last mouthful of cheese
  • Medium (31cm x 27cm) is the popular size – it covers a small plate, wraps a sandwich, fits over the end of a 500g block of cheese and perfect for smaller snacks and treats
  • Big (35cm x 33cm) perfect for a large sandwich, wrap, easily covers salad bowls and leftovers in the fridge, and also doubles as an excellent plate on your picnic!

Step three: let’s make your wraps
Now for the fun part!

1. Place your fabric onto a piece of baking paper (we put a towel down first, to avoid a mess!). Sprinkle a small handful of grated beeswax onto the fabric (less is more, as you can always add more afterwards). Make sure the beeswax is spread evenly.

2. Place another piece of baking paper on top of the fabric.

3. Using the iron, firmly press down onto the baking paper. You’ll see the beeswax melting almost immediately. Iron the baking paper as you would normally iron fabric – making sure the beeswax is pushed all the way into the corners (you’ll be able to see through the baking paper – see the pictures below).

4. When all the beeswax is melted and your fabric looks wet, you’re done. Remove the top layer of baking paper and check the beeswax is melted. It should look like the picture on the left below, with an even amount of melted beeswax. The picture on the right needs another go with the iron to melt and re-spread some of the beeswax that has already started to dry.

5. Next, remove the beeswax from the bottom piece of baking paper and hang to dry before it hardens and sticks (you have to be a bit speedy here, but be careful as the wax will be hot). We recommend pegging the wet wrap to a coat hanger or a washing line. It will only take a few minutes to harden and dry completely.

6. You’re done! You’ve just made a beautiful beeswax wrap which will help you say goodbye to plastic cling film for good (plus it makes for much prettier lunches!). To use, wrap around your food or bowl as you would with plastic wrap, and use the warmth of your hands to ‘seal’ the wrap in place. Instant eco-warrior!

Just a few things to note…

  • to clean your wrap, gently hand wash in cool water with a small amount of dishwashing liquid. Hot water will remove the beeswax!
  • please don’t cover raw meat with your wrap – if you need to cover raw meat, use a container or cover it with another plate in the fridge
  • if your wrap starts to lose its ‘stick’ – simply begin the process again! You’ll be able to re-wax and continue to use your wrap for years to come. If it eventually starts to look a little worse for wear, pop it into your compost bin (another reason we love cotton!).

Thanks to everyone who came along to the workshop last week, we hope you had as much fun as we did, and are enjoying using your beeswax wraps. Keep an eye on our Facebook page for more Plastic Free July activities later this week, including student bloggers and the last of our plastic free giveaways!

If you make these at home, we’d love to see the results! Send your best wrap pictures to sustainability@canterbury.ac.nz. 

This message was bought to you by the UC Sustainability Office. Stay connected and follow us on Facebook, Instagram or sign up to our newsletter to stay in the loop about campus sustainability. This is part of our contribution to Plastic Free July, where we encourage our UC community quit single use plastics for the month. For more information and tips, see the Plastic Free July website.

What do women bring to leadership?

Become a leader by empowering women (and yourself)

UC Careers’ annual event empowering women is back! This year we explore a valuable 21st century skill that’s important for all women to develop. The theme of the event is focused on ‘what do women bring to leadership?’.

So be sure to lock this into your calendars:

  • When: Thursday 1 August, 5-6pm
  • Where: Rehua 226 Te Moana.   

Our inspirational speakers include:

  • Hannah Duder, CEO, Indigo & Iris
  • Stella Ward, Chief Digital Officer, CDHB and WCDHB
  • Lan Pham, Councillor, Environment Canterbury Regional Council
  • and our very own VC, Professor Cheryl de la Rey

So what is this event all about, and why should you attend? 
Besides leadership being an important 21st century skill, we can develop a sense of fulfillment through recognising our own leadership skills and attributes, it’s a way of empowering others, and making a positive impact by shaping the world in which we live.

UC Careers’ Annual Event Empowering Women

RSVP via UC Careers today! Also you can spread the word: Share the event and RSVP on social media.

Guest speakers at UC Careers’ annual event will explore the following questions and calls to action:   

Have you thought about what women bring to leadership?
Let’s pause and recognize leadership skills and attributes within ourselves and others, and the value of these. Also let’s think about how these can be leveraged to develop and demonstrate leadership.

How would you define leadership? 
Or have you thought about the meaning women attach to the word leadership? We aim to broaden what we know leadership to be, and celebrate how we can all demonstrate leadership, no matter what opportunities we choose to pursue.

Let’s overcome real/perceived barriers! 
Sometimes women are held back. What’s stopping women from reaching higher, from taking the lead, and breaking through to the top? We want to break down the barriers holding women back from leadership experiences, so make sure you come and hear the advice these inspirational speakers are keen to share.

Lastly, let’s gather some words of wisdom. 
A few words and actions can make a big difference. Hear words of wisdom from our guest speakers to support women to embrace leadership.

Remember – Become a leader by empowering women (and yourself)!

RSVP via UC Careers today!    

Also you can spread the word: Share the event and RSVP on social media.