One of the handy little things I carry in my everyday zero waste essentials kit is a reusable food wrap. It’s basically a little handkerchief with a wax cover.
If I’m carrying something small or . Your delicious goody of choice can be dropped right onto the food wrap which you can then use as a plate. Or, best of all, you can take it to go by making a little snack package. (Just fold the beeswax wrap into a pouch and warm it up in your hands to seal it.)
I’d like to say there’s usually something utilitarian and wildly healthy in it, but honestly? It’s usually a doughnut. #nolieshere
Sure you can buy one pre-made, but why not be zero-wastier and DIY a reusable food wrap out of cloth you already have? You’ll have a super-handy addition to your zero waste arsenal and the satisfaction of doing it yourself.
1 piece of cotton cloth (size your choice, but I like to have it big enough to wrap a sandwich)
Beeswax* – or a vegan alternative
Parchment paper or silicone baking mat
Old (but clean!) toothbrush or paintbrush
*I got my beeswax in bulk but you can also get it online. Choose a block for less packaging and easy grating options.
DIY reusable food wrap
Preheat your oven to 180F – you’ll want it warm enough to melt the wax, but not enough to brown your fabric.
Line your sheet pan with item of choice and place your cloth on it. Sprinkle beeswax (or vegan alternative) all over the cloth. You don’t want too much, but eyeball it so that when it melts there’s enough to spread thinly over the whole piece of fabric.
Toss the cloth into the oven for about 5 minutes – keep your eye on it, though! Once the wax looks melty, take the pan out of the oven and (quickly) spread the wax all over the fabric using your implement of choice.
You can pick it up and see pretty clearly if you missed spots or the wax is uneven. If a part of the fabric didn’t get covered or the wax is still blobby, simply toss it back into the oven for another 2-3 minutes and try again.
Once I’m done I like to hang it up for a bit to firm up.
For a more in-depth tutorial on how to make a cling-film dupe, check out this tutorial.
How to use your reusable food wrap
To get the wrap into shape, simply warm it up between your hands until it bends easily. I like to form mine into an envelope shape and tuck something inside. Once you’ve put something inside you can continue to press the seams together to ensure you’ve melted the wax to create a (not super great) seal.
When you’re done, wash it under lukewarm water with dish soap and hang to dry.