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March 2020: Beeswax Wraps

We enjoyed a fun meeting with Wendy Knight from North Yorkshire West Federation – who came to talk to us about repairing, reusing and re-purposing, BEFORE recycling.  Wendy talked about her role as a Climate ambassador for Federation and how she has become involved with Extinction Rebellion and has been a long-standing supporter of Greenpeace, attending rallies and supporting their campaigns.

Wendy also described a series of visits arranged by federation to Allerton Waste Recovery Park; a mechanical treatment plant that receives general waste mainly originating from household bins and household waste recycling centres and removes any remaining metal and plastics for recycling.

An anaerobic digestion plant then treats the organic waste part and produces a biogas which generates renewable electricity.  This energy burns the waste which remains after separation of the recyclables and treatment of organic waste, producing steam to feed an electricity generating turbine that produces enough electricity to supply about 40,000 homes.  Wendy’s talk peeked our interest more than when we’ve read about this trip from federation – let us know if you might be interested in a visit (albeit a smelly day out!).

We then got down to business of beeswax wraps.  These are a fantastic way to not only do our individual bit to tackle climate change and reduce the amount of single use plastics that are used, but also make gorgeous gifts and help spread the word without simply “lecturing” friends, family and co-workers.

In the UK alone each year, there are approximately 1.2 billion metres (or 745,000 miles) of cling film used, That is about 40 million rolls, the average length of time each piece is used for is just 6 hours, and then takes around 2 years to breakdown – even then it is still present as micro particles and contributes to the plastic found in marine life.

For anyone who didn’t get a turn in the oven, or wasn’t able to make the meeting, here are the instructions on how to make, remake and factory-line-batch-make the wraps.

They will last well over a year and can be used to cover anything apart from raw meat.

To clean, your wraps can be washed in warm water and washing up liquid. then hung up or patted dry.

Safety note: Do not use beeswax wraps in the microwave

Over time, your wraps will get crack marks. As these become more pronounced, you can refresh them: just put in a max 80C oven for a few minutes and they come back like new. When they are finally worn out (and some of mine are well over two years old), they can be composted!

-SSWI COVID-19 STATEMENT- As Felicity explained at our meeting, we will endeavour to continue to meet unless government guidelines dictate otherwise.  We will always be sure to give you as much notice as possible, and under any circumstances that force us to cancel or rearrange meetings or subgroups we will always email and use social media to notify members of cancellations.

As the global position continues to shift rapidly, we simply ask you to pay attention to the guidelines issued and take care.  If you are self-isolating due to underlying health conditions and Spa Sweethearts can help you throughout this period, or you are involved in a community initiative to provide assistance to others please get in touch and let us know how we can help.

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