Tag Archives: Plastic Free July

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). Bin 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 Sustainability Champion: Meet Elizabeth

Elizabeth Peters | Masters in Marketing, Plastic Free Blogger and Eco VolunteerThis year, we’re proud to be profiling students and staff who we believe are contributing to the culture of sustainability at UC. We are running this campaign in the lead up to the 2019 UC Sustainability Awards, so get thinking about who you’ll be nominating this year! Nominations for the Awards are open from the 5 – 31 August.

In the meantime, read on and enjoy our latest Sustainability Champion profile from plastic free blogger Elizabeth – we caught up with her just in time for Plastic Free July!

29871827_10155490801062336_7562871590863254003_oElizabeth making a ‘plastic free promise’ during Plastic Free July 2018

Tell us about yourself!

My name is Elizabeth, I grew up in Christchurch. I did my undergraduate at University of Canterbury in Marketing and Management and I am currently doing my Master’s in Marketing on the topic of non-profit advertising. I spent my later years of my childhood growing up in the country and love being in nature. I now flat in town and love biking through the greener areas of Christchurch that remind me of home.

Tell us how you became involved with sustainability at UC.

I started coming along to a few events throughout my undergraduate studies, but it wasn’t until this last year that I got involved with the UC Sustainability Office and started helping more.  I love the work that the sustainability team is doing and wanted to be a part of it which I do through Eco Volunteering.

What has been a sustainability project that has meant a lot to you?

For an assignment at university we were set with a challenge to change a behavior of ours that would not only better ourselves but also the society in which we live. I chose to give up plastic. I began with the broad goal to give up all plastics… However, it was not until I started recording my plastic consumption that it started to dawn on me how pervasive plastic was in my life! Since I began this journey in 2017, I have learnt and continue to learn about the problem, and various ways in which I can be a part of the solution. I have learnt through personal experience and from the experience and research of others. Over the summer I started a blog called Glasshouse Refillery to share my journey. I also share some of my regular rhythms to living a more sustainable lifestyle on my Instagram and Facebook page – if you’re interested you can find me here: @glasshouserefillery.

I’m also volunteering my time (and my sewing machine!) at the Sustainability Office’s Plastic Free July workshop on Tuesday. Drop in and learn to make (and take home) a produce bag and a beeswax wrap and take a stand against plastic pollution with us! See the Facebook event here for all the details.

What is something that has made you feel really proud and a part of UC? 

I often bike to university and leading up to UC Sustainability’s Bike Breakfast event the bike shed was so full I had to go to one on the other side of campus! While the bike shed isn’t always full (particularly in winter!), it is great to see so many students and staff choosing to cycle to university. I am also proud to be a part of UC Sustainability’s journey in their BYO cups and containers initiative (and the cup library) at the various cafes and food establishments on campus.

Where to next for you?

Though I will soon finish my studies and no longer be a student, I will continue to do my bit for this wonderful planet that we are blessed to live on. I still have a long road ahead on my sustainability journey, but I will endeavor to be an eco-advocate where my life leads me. Endeavoring to encourage others and myself to continue to make small changes that have a big impact.

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 blog is part of our Sustainability Champions Campaign, where we profile UC students and staff doing great things for sustainability. This is part of our wider communications plan for the 2019 UC Sustainability Awards. For more information, and for the Awards nomination form, see our website.

 

July Staff Forum | Te Wānanga Kaimahi 2019

Thanks to all those who joined us for our Staff Forum | Te Wānanga Kaimahi this week. Some 250 staff attended the event.

Please take five minutes to complete our staff survey before 19 July. This will help us to improve these events in the future and ensure they remain relevant, engaging and informative.

Complete the survey here>

If you missed it, a video recording is now available on the Staff Forum intranet page>

UCSA President Sam Brosnahan opened the forum by showcasing the Haere-roa opening on 9 July, followed by a E tū, kia ora academic review progress update from VC Professor Cheryl de la Rey.

Deputy VC Ian Wright ended the forum with a Q&A session, which offered the audience the opportunity to submit and rank questions on the online platform sli.do online.

Special thanks to UC Sustainability who hosted manaakitanga in honour of Plastic-free July.

Find out more on the topics raised:

  • E tū, kia ora, our new academic strategy, is captured here with regular updates.
  • Uni-Voice – an ongoing forum for people prepared to make a difference; for the university, and for other people. Members of the university community are encouraged to get in touch, write blogs and start conversations to inspire change in the workplace. Get in touch>
  • UC Sustainabilitythe UC Sustainability Office is an on-campus hub for individuals and groups interested in how they can create positive change and promote sustainable practices within the University of Canterbury and wider community.
  • Find out more about our climate journey here> 

If any departments/areas would like to host future Staff Forums please email us at events@canterbury.ac.nz and let us know the topic you would like to highlight.

DIY Zero Waste Workshop 23 July

Come and celebrate Plastic Free July with us!

UC Sustainability is holding a fun and free DIY workshop on Tuesday 23 July, so you can help tackle plastic pollution with us.

We’ll be showing you how easy and fun it is to make two plastic free essentials: produce bags and beeswax wraps!

No sewing experience is necessary – just drop in we’ll help you make your plastic free goodies.

What: DIY Zero Waste Workshop

When: Tuesday 23rd July, drop in anytime from 12pm – 2pm

Where: Rehua 108, The Community Engagement Hub

What to bring:  We’ll supply the fabric and everything else you need, but if you have any fabric at home you’d like to use, we’d love you to bring it along to share. We do recommend using only 100% cotton for making beeswax wraps (but even an old cotton tee shirt will do the trick!)

For more information, see the Facebook event here. If you’re planning on coming, please help us by clicking ‘attending’!

We’re also doing a whole bunch of awesome plastic-free giveaways on our Facebook page all month, as well as student bloggers showing us how to go plastic free on campus – so make sure you follow us on Facebook so you don’t miss out!

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.

 

Plastic Free July is almost here!

We’re gearing up for an entire month of celebrating all things plastic free during the worldwide Plastic Free July Campaign.

Interested in taking part? All you have to do is ‘choose to refuse’ single use plastics for a month (or longer), and you’re automatically an eco-warrior!
Want to get started?

  • Bring a reusable coffee cup to campus, and make the most of the BYO cup discounts on offer
  • Bring your lunch from home and swap out plastic cling film for a reusable beeswax wrap or a container. Or, if you’re buying food on campus, bring a plate or bowl from your office and avoid using that takeaway box!
  • Take your own bags to get your groceries – and don’t forget smaller bags for loose produce
  • Drink loose leaf tea – did you know tea bags contain plastic?
  • Don’t forget your reusable water bottle too!
  • Already got those covered? Why not try some simple swaps at home – like switching your plastic toothbrush to a bamboo one, or giving solid shampoo bars a go!

Want some more help?

We’ve got a whole bunch of plastic free activities planned next month to help you along the way, including a DIY zero waste workshop, student bloggers sharing their experiences about going plastic free on campus, and heaps of awesome plastic free giveaways over on our Facebook page!

Join us for a month (or more) of ditching single use plastics for good!

Keep an eye on our Facebook page during July for event updates and those giveaways – you don’t want to miss them.

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.