I hope you’ll enjoy this interview as much as I do, dear bold soul! Read on and learn from the eco-conscious advice of fabulous Cheryl Sanders from Wrappa Bees – makers of reusable waxed food wraps. I’ll bet it’ll make you smile and get more eco-aware at the same time! M x o
What a fantastic business, Cheryl! I can’t tell you how I worry about all the cling wrap I use!
I am so glad you love our little business Meg. The feedback from customers has been amazing! Thank you for choosing me as part of your gorgeous series on your blog!
How did you get to the idea to run a business making wax re-usable food wraps, and why did you change from what you were doing previously? Edited from a contribution to the #communityquestionbank. Those bold souls loved your previous business. A lot.
I often get asked this question. It was literally a light bulb moment. Without sounding too “Oprah”, that is how it happened. I was very unhappy in my previous business, which I know will surprise so many people. But, it just wasn’t ‘speaking’ to me anymore. I didn’t feel that I was in the place that was right for me and my family.
I have always loved bees and been fascinated by the way that they essentially run our world. Without bees, life would be a very different place.
One night when I was going over and over again what it was I wanted, where I wanted to be, what would make me feel grounded and whole, bees wax wraps hit me. We had looked at stocking them previously in our other business, but I had never found any that were appealing to the general market, nor that I was 100% happy with. My inner voice told me I could do this! I could do something that made a difference, albeit on a very tiny scale!! But it is all the small changes that end up making a huge difference for our planet and what we leave behind to our children.
So I started experimenting with bees wax and tree resin. I very quickly found out that it was all not as easy as it looks, but my heart was in this and so I persevered until I had perfected the ratio and here we are now!!
How can gorgeous re-usable food wraps help improve on what humans are doing to the environment?
They can help sooo much Meg!!! If everyone were to tally up each little piece of plastic wrap, or zip lock bags etc, and see how much they used in one month, they would be horrified.
Because it is small and disposable, we don’t immediately see the impact, nor do we realise how it accumulates. We may as well go and empty that plastic straight into the water at the beach, because that is where it is ending up. But no one would do that because they can see the plastic on the water.
We can’t see the plastic once we have thrown it out. It goes from our rubbish bins and then it is out of our thoughts. But the truth is there is no ‘out’…. if it is not recycled then there is nowhere for it to go. It can get buried deep down in the ground and act as landfill, leaching out the chemicals into our waterways, or it ends up in the oceans… in the bellies of turtles, whales and fish.
By simply replacing one item, such as plastic wrap, with our reusable food wraps, your family will be saying that no, it is not ok for us to dispose of plastic with no consideration for where it goes. We can all make small changes in our lives that have huge impacts on the environment. If one person uses our wraps, they will then tell a friend, who will tell a friend etc etc….
Suddenly we have a hundred people no longer using plastic wrap! Now that creates a fabulous visual!
When we met at the Cat Show about a month ago, you were the person who stepped up and orchestrated the recycling of large volumes of paper (later: oops I was confused, I mean plastic) that covered the tables. What can we do in our homes to reduce waste?
Didn’t we have a great weekend then Meg?! So many laughs!!
At the cat show there was thick black plastic, like people use in their garden, around the front and the back of every table that had these gorgeous cats on them. There must have been over 200 cats there.. maybe more. That is a lot of tables. That was a lot of black plastic.
I asked the organisers what they planned on doing with the plastic, and was told that unfortunately it was going to get put in the bin, as the small recycling bin that was at the centre was full. I felt physically ill. This was not an option. So I made lots and lots of phone calls to find recycling centres who could help, but being a weekend, there was not much help available. So at the end of the show we packed it all up and took it home in my little car… That was a sight.
Our rescue was using the soft plastic recycling system at our local Coles (M: An Australian supermarket chain). We went in with trolley loads of this black plastic and they took it and gave it to REDcycle who are amazing! They recycle all the little bits of soft plastics that we have previously been told can not be used…. Think of your biscuit packs, muesli bar wrappers, the plastic that goes around your toilet paper packs, the insides of cereal boxes…. all of that thin and soft plastic CAN BE RECYCLED!!
This is such great news for the average home, because if you live in an urban area that has these supermarkets, you can start making a difference. Watch how quickly that bag of soft plastic builds up!!! Take it into the supermarket and pop in one of the green bins. This then gets made into all sorts of funky stuff including park benches!
Once you see how quickly you are filling the bag, then perhaps try to make the next step by trying to cut out one of those items from your shopping list and substituting it with something that doesn’t have plastic wrapping….
One small step at a time. It is so important not to be daunted and try to do too many things at once. Get the kids involved. Explain about our oceans and how they can help. They are already being taught at school about our environment, so lets build on that!
I love the patterns on your wraps. How do you select your fabric designs?
I’m so glad that you love the patterns! Stay tuned for some very exciting news in regards to those!
I choose designs that I think are fun and funky and that will appeal to the average person. Bright and fun colours are great for some, but others like a more natural look. We even do Star Wars and Minions wraps! Hey, if it means that little Johnny will use his wraps and bring them home from school… then I will happily do Star Wars. Or Pokemon. Or Frozen even. Did I just say that??
The world would be way better for an @AskCheryl column, for more of your thoughts about activities and environmental choices. In the meantime: Tell us some lesser known uses for Wrappa Bees re-usable food wraps…
Ha ha… that’s funny… I would love to have an @AskCheryl column!! Some food for thought hey Meg??!
Our wraps can be used for so many different things!
- There are obvious ones like wrapping sandwiches and rolls for lunches, covering your salad bowls and leftovers.
- You can wrap up lettuces, cauliflower or broccolini.
- Any fruit and veg will love to be wrapped in our wraps in your fridge.
- Be creative and seal the sides and make your own zip lock bag equivalent!
- Keep one in your handbag for that Friday afternoon bakery treat! Simply hand the shop keeper your wraps and say ‘no bag please’.
- I use a folded wrap in my handbag to carry around a pen and some paper etc, so that I can always find it.
Are we still going??
- Pop a wrap under your cutting board so it won’t move as you cut veggies etc.
- Lay a wrap flat and grate your cheese directly on it, then fold up and put leftovers in fridge.
- Wrap pastry and dough leftovers.
- Cover your block of cheese once you have opened it.
- Wrap up some crusty bread!
How does that sound? I mean, I could go on and on and on….
Find Cheryl Sanders / Wrappa Bees online
Thanks for being here Cheryl – great interview! Thank you for reading dear bold soul! Isn’t Cheryl doing great work? Share in the comments your next step to keeping more plastic from getting into the environment. Mine is be more conscious of recycling soft plastics. Talk soon, Meg x o
PS Click this to find out more about my Happy To Be Here exhibition – it’s on from September 1 – 27, at Goolwa, South Australia.