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Getting outside and enjoying the summer weather every chance we get is a must for our family! We love nothing more than spending the afternoon at our local lake taking in the sights and sounds of our local nature reserve while enjoying a picnic spread. But like most every other activity that involves my family over the past year, our zero-waste lifestyle comes into play. Even while picnicking at the park!
Earlier this month, knowing picnic season was just around the corner I stopped by my local Walmart to pick up several must-haves for summer, including Blue Lizard® Australian Sunscreen Sensitive products. It gives us all the coverage we need to keep us safe from the sun and can easily be found right at Walmart. As its summer, whenever getting out in the sun sunscreen is a must.
This sunscreen for sensitive skin is a must for our family’s summer picnic basket. It has a unique zinc oxide formulation, provides broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection, is paraben-free and fragrance-free, and dermatologist-recommended for over 15 years! As a family, we love Blue Lizard® Sunscreen‘s patented Smart Bottle™ technology, which causes the bottle to change color when exposed to harmful UV sunlight. So we always know when to reapply. Here’s where you can find Blue Lizard® Sunscreen at Walmart:
What’s even better? For savvy savers like us, this month there’s a new iBotta deal for Blue Lizard® Australian Sunscreen! Currently, when you join iBotta (as well as existing members) and purchase Blue Lizard® Australian Sunscreen – Sensitive, the 5 oz.-bottle only, you can earn $4.00. Click here for more details! So with this season’s sunscreen in-hand from my local Walmart, I headed home to prep a zero-waste picnic lunch for the afternoon.
What supplies you’ll need for zero-waste picnics this summer:
As you might think, packing a zero-waste picnic is not that different from packing a regular picnic. Because when it comes to packing a zero-waste picnic you are aiming to create as little waste as possible, so you won’t be using disposable products. So you’ll need to skip the plastic disposable products in-store. Think in terms of natural elements such as glass, stainless steel, wood, cloth, fiber, or stone products. Consider purchasing utility reusables, such as Mason jars, which can be used for a myriad of picnic foods such as salads, smoothies, snacks for the kids, and even bbq.
Other useful products include glass brewery bottles and stainless steel products, such as straws, silverware, and serving ware. All items that can be affordably purchased and used for many seasons to come! You’ll also need reusable versions of picnics staples including reusable napkins, picnic blankets, picnic baskets, and wrappings to coverings to keep foods fresh, such as reusable cling wrap. And one of the easiest ways to acquire reusable cling wrap is to make your own! Here’s the why and how.
Why make Beeswax wraps:
Beeswax wraps are a naturally anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, eco-friendly alternative to plastic wrap that will actually hug bowls, cups, plates, and jars with just the right amount of cling. They’re great for wrapping snacks, fruit, veggies, cheese, bread and even bowls, making them perfect for zero-waste picnics! Wraps also cost just under $1.00 to make and will give you hundreds of uses per beeswax wrap. The best part? They’re customizable and make great hostess, teacher appreciation, or holiday gift for friends and family too! Now let’s see just how simple making DIY beeswax wraps at home this summer can be!
Ingredients & Equipment you’ll need:
- Beeswax: You can buy beeswax in bars (which will need to be grated or in pellet form)
- Jojoba oil
- 100% cotton fabric. (The thinner the better. I use fat quarters from Walmart for $1.00)
- Scissors: Sheers to cut your fabric and pinking shears to prevent fraying.
- Grater (if buying block beeswax)
- Stainless Steel Baking Sheet
- Parchment paper
- Ruler or Tape Measure
- Binder clips
-Preheat your oven to 225 degrees Fahrenheit. To keep my home cooler in summer, I use a convection oven to make beeswax wraps.
-Next, you’ll need to create a drying station. To do this, I cleared off one of my kitchen baker’s racks, cut and laid out a sheet of parchment paper beneath where the wraps will hang to dry. I then cut strings across the underside of one shelf. Then when ready to use, I hang the wraps by the binder clips.
-Now to prep your fabric. You do this by cutting your fabric into the size you need. For this post, I cut mine into 8×8 inch squares.
-Next, prep your baking tray by laying parchment paper over the baking sheet. Then place your fabric on top. Remember, parchment paper is reusable. So when done, just pop your sheets into the freezer and the wax will come off leaving you with a like-new sheet of parchment paper.
-Next, measure out your beeswax and then sprinkle your beeswax mixture evenly over the top of your fabric and then drizzle your jojoba oil over beeswax pellets as well.
-Place sheet in the oven and bake for 6-8 minutes or until the mixture is fully melted.
-Next, pull your sheet out of the oven. Then quickly, using the paintbrush, spread the mixture evenly over the fabric, making sure to fully saturate each area, particularly the corners and edges. If any part of the wraps needs further saturation just pop the sheet back into the oven for an additional 1-2 minutes. When the mixture is evenly melted, remove the baking sheet from the oven and lift the sheet with tongs.
-Finally, hang your sheets with your binder clips on your drying rack station. Allowing each wrap to dry 10 minutes. Keep in mind that it will feel very tacky at first but will cure and dry quickly. And now your wraps are done!
A few quick tips:
- Wraps can be made in any number of sizes and it really just depends on the size and number of sheets you want to make. Here’s how much materials to use for the specific size wrap you need: 8×8 Sheet (2 teaspoons beeswax & 1/2 teaspoon jojoba oil, 11×11 Sheet (2 teaspoons beeswax & 1 teaspoon jojoba oil), & 14×14 Sheet (3 teaspoons beeswax & 2.5 teaspoons jojoba oil).
- To use each wrap, just place over a bowl or container, wrap around food like cheese, or fold into a snack bag.
- The warmth from your hands will mold the wrap into the desired shape.
- Wraps should be washed with cold water, Castille soap, air dried, and stored standing up in cabinets.
- Since they cannot be washed with hot water, wraps are not suitable for meats for high-moisture foods.
- After a year, you need to re-wax them in order to keep using them.
- If you prefer vegan wraps, powdered pine resin can be substituted for beeswax.
How to pack a zero-waste picnic:
When you’re ready to pack your picnic start by collecting all your jars, bottled drink, and reusable materials. I like to place anything that doesn’t need immediate refrigeration in my wicker picnic basket and everything else goes into a reusable insulated bag, along with ice packs. I then pack up my straws, napkins, Blue Lizard® Australian Sunscreen, DIY essential oil bug spray, and silverware and you’re set for a zero-waste picnic this summer!
Now, if you need a little help knowing what the essentials for zero-waste picnicking are I’ve included an infographic to help you along. Just download it to your favorite device and keep it with you as a zero-waste shopping guide the next time your in-store!
For our last picnic, I packed jarred wedges of cheese, spicy dill tuna salad, gluten-free tortilla chips, olives, frozen cantaloupe (also serves to keep picnic items cooler), baked hummus with queso fresco, and 1-minute microwave jarred chocolate cake for us all to share. I was able to easily cover the hummus with a new beeswax wrap. It was a feast for our little family of three!
We picnicked as a family at our favorite local spot overlooking our local nature reserve’s reservoir lake. It was tranquil and trash-free!
While there we remembered to apply Blue Lizard® sunscreen before heading out to the gazebo for the afternoon and then reapplied two hours later to ensure SPF protection was maintained. Blue Lizard® Australian Sunscreen’s sensitive skin formula is perfect for our whole family, even my husband, whose fair skin has seen its share of sunburns over the years. As I’ve mentioned before, it’s our go-to for summer activities, including picnicking by the lake!
Now that you’ve seen how easy prepping for a zero-waste picnic can be, I encourage you to consider making your own beeswax wraps for your perfect zero-waste picnic this summer. Then be sure to check out Blue Lizard® Australian Sunscreen’s sensitive skin formula this month at your local Walmart. Remember, this month you can earn $4.00 when you purchase Blue Lizard® Australian Sunscreen – Sensitive, 5 oz. bottle, at Walmart from the iBotta savings app!
So friends, will you be taking in a picnic as part of your adventures this summer? And how will you make these adventures more zero-waste? I’d love to hear about them below!
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