Imagine a material for wrapping food that is made entirely from natural materials and is washable, re-useable, multi-purpose and smells deliciously of beeswax… If you have never come across Abeego, do check out the lovely couple who invented it and the beautiful Abeego website. Widely available in the UK and worldwide, I have seen it in farm shops, kitchen shops, health food shops, even gift shops, as well as online. You can buy small, medium and large sheets to wrap around anything except raw meat. It keeps food fresh naturally and is great for wrapping bread and cheese for example, or for covering left-overs in the fridge. The sheets are pliable but fairly stiff from the beeswax so they stay in place where you’ve folded them. They are water repelling and don’t seem to take on the smell of the food. I adore this wrap because it is natural, beautiful and so practical. It is a bit of an investment if you’re used to buying cling film. Mine have lasted really well since I bought them a few months ago and I can’t see any use for cling film now. I think this is another great win for living without plastic!
Where to buy Abeego in the UK: http://www.asliceofgreen.co.uk/food-wraps-and-bags/
Talking to my friend Sarah who has a farmers market food stall that only uses eco-friendly catering vegware (Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall take note!) I mentioned an idea of mine for Stroud shops and market stalls to display a prominent and recognisable sticker/logo to indicate that customers are welcome to bring their own bags and containers for refill. I thought of this because it can be daunting to repeatedly ask at the supermarkets and shops if they would mind putting the meat/cheese/whatever straight into your own containers instead of the shop plastic bags. A sticker or logo outside the shop would not only spread the message but also make a lot of customers loyal to the shop I think. The shop could even sell their own re-useale containers, much like they do with bags-for-life for example.
Just this morning then, my mother who lives in Bristol sent me an article about Refill Bristol, a practical campaign to make Bristol a refillable city: “Filling up your water bottle for free from one of our 200 Refill stations is an everyday thing. The aim is to reduce the amount of plastic bottles and bottle tops ending up in our oceans, whilst keeping you healthy, hydrated and saving you money at the same time! Participating cafes, bars, restaurants, banks, galleries, museums and other businesses display a round, blue sticker in their window, inviting thirsty passers-by to come on in and fill up their bottle – for free. Refill Bristol was a Bristol 2015 European Green Capital project delivered by City to Sea, a local CIC dedicated to stemming the tide of plastic to the oceans” Read more
This was my first foray into the mysterious world of homemade cosmetics and I am so pleased with the result. For a long time I have been using Neal’s Yard Lemon and Coriander Deodorant but I decided to make my own now in order to avoid plastic packaging. Initially I am re-using the pretty blue Neal’s Yard bottle which does have a plastic top and atomiser, while I am looking for a glass and metal container. To my complete delight I found a book of recipes that includes the lemon and coriander deodorant and it didn’t look too difficult. I had to think long and hard about whether I would buy the essential oils needed for this recipe because they tend to come with plastic lids. In the end I decided that I would buy the essential oils because they last so long and can be used to make many other cosmetics and remedies. Also, making my own essential oils is a bit beyond me at the moment.
After getting all the ingredients together I sterilized the utensils and nervously set about making the recipe. It turned out to be so simple and absolutely gorgeous. I have been using it for some weeks now. Husband Pete commented that I smell nice and my co-workers have not moved their desks away from me – so I’ll put that down as a success!
Recipe from Make Your Own Cosmetics by Neal’s Yard Remedies:
90ml (6tbsp) witch hazel
10ml (2tsp) vegetable glycerine
10 drops of lemon essential oil
5 drops each of grapefruit, lime & palmarosa essential oil
2 drops each of clove, coriander & lavender essential oil
Mix the witch hazel and vegetable glycerine first and then add the essential oils. Store in a dark glass bottle, preferably with an atomiser, for up to 6 months. Organic essential oils are a little more expensive but there are cheaper alternatives. Althogether this costs a fraction of the store bought variety.