Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I hope this finds you all wearing green under sunny skies! We’re dealing with snow today. I wonder if my crocuses will survive? Either way, the Lenten Carbon Fast continues at Lydia’s Flexitarian Kitchen.
I’m pleased to report the recycle bins we’re using have already been helpful in eliminating the amount of waste we’re sending to the landfill each week. It’s not too much trouble to rinse out the bottles, jars and cans, although I’ll find the occasional recyclable in the garbage. The bins are small enough that a weekly trip to the collection area is required. This is fine with me as there’s a collection area on my way to the grocery store so I can combine a trip.
Now that we’re recycling, the trash that’s left tells me we use a lot of paper goods. We like our paper plates around here, we use them for more than eating. I’ll probably switch to buying compostable plates and use regular tableware myself in order to set an example. It won’t be a problem to wash a couple more dishes.
Replacing paper towels will be more difficult. We have kitchen towels aplenty and I use them every day, but napkins are another story. I don’t understand why they’re so expensive (and ugly)! I’ll probably end up making my own. Which brings me to a project I want to share with you all. I came across it on Pinterest while looking into making my own napkins. They’re reusable waxed fabric wrappers, and boy, are they cool!
The best instructions I found come from Mommypotamus. I ordered the beeswax from Amazon (affiliate link), bought a cheap grater from the dollar store and a few fat quarters from the fabric shop. At first I tried to melt the grated wax with an iron. It worked but I got uneven coverage and it was a hassle because I had to protect the ironing board with aluminum foil and the iron with waxed paper. I got much better results using the oven (I reused the aluminum foil to protect the baking sheets in case you were wondering). It took awhile to figure out how much wax to use. You really don’t need as much as you might think.
You need to use common sense with these wraps. You can get them wet, but you can’t use very hot water. They’re water resistant, not water proof. DO NOT USE THEM FOR MEAT PRODUCTS! I think going forward I’ll use them mostly for wrapping things like bread, nuts or cheese that often get placed into a plastic bag. If I make another set, I’ll be smarter about the sizes, too. The small squares seem to be the handiest, while the large rectangles are great for a baguette, but not a good size for anything else.
As you can see in the photo, I’ve used the wrappers for baked goods, cheese, nuts and protecting the cut end of a cucumber. They also work well for covering bowls, but I think I like the covers that look like bathing caps better for that purpose. I tested a couple pieces of bread left overnight on the counter. They didn’t get hard, so I’m sure the wraps would work great for a lunchtime sandwich. After two days, the cucumber looks good, although the end it drying out. The cheese is fine, too. My favorite use is to fold the wrap into a little pouch for holding nuts or something like that.
The project was fun to do, and now I’m excited about sewing my napkins. With all the colors and patterns available I can have an eclectic set! And maybe I’ll make some reusable shopping bags as well. I hardly ever forget mine anymore, but it would be nice if they folded up small so they’d fit nicely in my purse.
I guess I’m off to Pinterest for more ideas! Please feel free to share your thoughts and experiences in the comments.