Tag Archives: volunteer

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.

UC 2019 Volunteering Expo

Did you know that volunteering is really good for your health and can boost your career prospects? We have local and national not-for-profits and registered charities coming onto campus on WEDNESDAY 31 JULY, 11.30 am – 2.30 pm in the UNDERCROFT.

For more information about who’s coming check our link to UC Careers Online Events Page (log in using your UC IT username and password). they are all looking to welcome new volunteers and there will be a few furry, four legged friends as well!

We need you for Open Day | Rā Tōmene 2019!

Looking for something to do during the mid-year break? Something to make you feel good while you’re helping others?

Well we’ve got the opportunity for you… and it includes FREE STUFF!

The Events team are seeking enthusiastic volunteers to share their knowledge and experience of UC while having a bit of fun with our future students, their friends, families and whanau at Open Day | Rā Tōmene next Thursday 11 July from 9am – 5pm.

You can volunteer for any of the following roles:

Supplier of smilesyou have a great smile and enjoy making people happy
We want you along our Open Day | Rā Tōmene trails, warmly welcoming our visitors to UC. Scan tickets, hand out tote bags, greet those coming from out of town on the free bus and wave goodbye at the end of the day. With a big smile, you take care of those all-important frontline tasks.

Information guruproviding help and support is your gig
We have stations across campus just for you. You’ll assist visitors with any questions they have – from where to get good coffee, to the time their next information session starts.

Foot traffic controlleryou’re there to help people find their way.
You love the buzz of people gathering, ready to learn. Every hour a new information session begins and you’ll be at the front of the line, managing the flow of people in and out of lecture theatres and helping our guests find the right session.

Campus exploreryou know the campus well and can’t wait to show it off.
You’ll be taking small groups of visitors on a loop of the campus, pointing out all the key buildings and facilities (especially the sparkly new ones), helping them get a feel for UC. You’ll answer questions as you go, highlighting where things are happening on the day.

And now for the FREE STUFF – as a thank you for your trouble, you’ll get:

  1. a cool t-shirt to wear on the day (and keep!)
  2. a drink bottle
  3. an exclusive UC branded beanie and
  4. all the tea, coffee and hot chocolate you can drink from the volunteers kitchen!

Even better, as a UC Host, you can claim this on your CCR!

It’s a pretty good deal, right?

Sign up now by completing our Eventbrite form here>

Any and all questions welcomed – contact the team here>