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Arts & Crafts

Arts & Crafts, Health & Beauty, Life & Style

Eco-Friendly Alternatives to Glitter

eco friendly glitter alternatives

Since this eco-friendly alternatives to glitter article was written in 2017, new research has come to light. It has found that eco glitter is as damaging to the environment as standard glitter.  Therefore it is something I no longer recommend.  Please see here for more information.

Today let’s talk about eco-friendly alternatives to glitter.

I don’t know about you, but I had been trying to keep my head in the sand about the environmental impact of glitter, of all things.  Much like tea bags, I didn’t want to believe that something so fun and seemingly innocuous as glitter could be harbouring a dark secret.

Why A Ban On Glitter?

However, it is indeed true: scientists are calling for a ban on glitter.  Why?  Most glitter is microplastic – fragments of plastic less than 5mm in length.  This microplastic can easily be swallowed by marine life, proving fatal to them, and could potentially enter the food chain.

More worryingly, in the same article it goes on to say that “most glitter is made of aluminium and a plastic called PET… PET can break down to release chemicals that disrupt hormones in the bodies of animals and humans“.  This is not good.  Therefore a ban on glitter, much like the ban on microbeads for the same reasons, would be very welcome.

This ban would mean a world without glitter.  Some nurseries are substituting glitter for lentils or rice for use in craft projects.  However, it’s not quite the same, is it?  And sticking lentils to your face at festivals may not produce the desired effect, and may cause people to give you a wide berth!

If you can’t live in a world without glitter, but don’t want to damage the environment then fear not.  The future is not lentil based because I have found six eco-friendly glitter alternatives for all your glitter based cosmetic and crafting needs:

Eco-Friendly Alternatives to Glitter

eco friendly alternatives to glitter uk

EcoStarDust

Bristol-based EcoStarDust, whose clever slogan is “glitter without the litter”, sells biodegradable glitter in all the colours.  And when I say all the colours I mean all the colours, in varying sizes from chunky through to fine.  The glitter is made from plant cellulose and is reasonably priced at £3.50 a pot.  Delivery is free when you spend over £10 and 10% of profits are donated to environmental projects.

Eco Glitter Fun

Eco Glitter Fun sells biodegradable, cruelty-free, and vegan glitter from £3.50 a pot, again in all the colours and sizes you could possibly need.  Their glitter is made from a certified compostable film that will biodegrade in soil, compost, or a wastewater/ocean environment.

Fulfilled Wishes

The UK based Fulfilled Wishes sell biodegradable glitter via their Etsy shop.  Prices are £4 for 5-gram jars, and they specialise in more chunky eco glitter.

The Mermaid Cave

The Mermaid Cave sells a beautiful range of eco-friendly glitter, with all their glitter named after endangered ocean species.  This is the place to go if you are looking for zero-waste and plastic-free biodegradable glitter as all glitter is sold in glass vials with cork stoppers.  Their glitter is vegan friendly, made from plant-based materials, and the glitter will biodegrade in soil, compost, wastewater, and ocean water.  It’s priced at £5.99 for 8 ml of glitter or £9.99 for 20 ml of glitter.

The Soap Kitchen

The Soap Kitchen specialises in microfine eco-friendly glitter, in a more limited colour palette.  Prices start at £1.50 for 5 g, but you can purchase in bulk bags, in bags of up to 500 g (a whole lot of glitter!) if you need larger quantities.  You can also get 5% off your first order when you sign up for The Soap Kitchen newsletter.

Wild Glitter

Finally, Wild Glitter sell EU certified biodegradable glitter made from natural compostable plant-based materials.  A variety of colours and textures are available, from fine through to chunky.  Prices are reasonable too – they start from £2.75 for 3 ml and they can be purchased in recyclable pots or refill bags.

If you find any more eco glitter alternatives then do let me know in the comments below!

Arts & Crafts, Life & Style

How to Make Beeswax Wraps

beeswax food wrap diy

Hello!  It’s been a little while since I shared a DIY with you, but today I want to share my tried and tested technique on how to make beeswax wraps.  If you’re looking to reduce your single-use plastic consumption, then these beeswax wraps make for a great alternative to using cling film, tin foil, or plastic Tupperware to store food in.  And the best part is they are really easy to make.

We actually cut our cling film and tin foil usage a long time ago.  We switched to using parchment paper to wrap our food in before popping it in the fridge or freezer or storing food in glass jars or Tupperware tubs.

All of this has been doing the job pretty well.  However, I’ve been trying to find an alternative to parchment paper as I’d like to be able to not buy so many single-use products, like parchment paper.  I also wanted to find a way to transport my lunch without the need for bulky Tupperware tubs.  Those things are a pain to carry around all day!  So, lo and behold, the answer I was looking for: the beeswax food wrap!

how to make beeswax wraps

I had seen some pretty nice ones for sale online, but the statutory maternity pay I’m on at the moment sadly doesn’t quite stretch to beeswax wraps.  I had some fabric scraps left over from an old craft project.  And I also some beeswax pellets leftover from making beeswax candles and homemade nappy rash cream so decided to try my hand at making my own.  How hard could it be? Turns out: not very hard at all.  Let me share with you now my easy method on how to make beeswax wraps.

how to store food without plastic

How to Make Beeswax Wraps

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You will need

Freshly washed and dried fabric scraps* – a variety of sizes.

Beeswax pellets*

A silicone basting brush*

Oven tray

Tongs*

Method

Preheat your oven to 85°C (185°F)

Lay your piece of fabric flat on your oven tray.  Sprinkle the fabric liberally with your beeswax pellets.

Place in the oven for around 5 minutes, until the beeswax has all melted.  Keep an eye on it the whole time to avoid burning.

Once all the beeswax has melted remove the tray from the oven and quickly use your silicone basting brush to evenly distribute the beeswax.  The beeswax will start to set as soon as you take it out of the oven so you want to do this bit very quickly.

As soon as you’ve done this use the tongs to remove the fabric and hang it up to dry.  It will take only minutes to set and then it’s ready for use.

If you find you’ve got too much beeswax on your fabric then simply place it back in the oven for a few minutes until the beeswax has melted. Then brush down with your silicone brush again.

To remove the beeswax from your oven tray and basting brush, wash them in hot soapy water.

How to use beeswax wraps

You can use beeswax wraps in practically any way you see fit – for example wrapping cheese.  Just wrap the cheese in the wrap and use the heat from your hands to seal the ends.  Got a leftover bowl of food?  Simply place a beeswax wrap on top and again, using the heat from your hands, seal the wrap around the edges.  The uses are endless!

See my notes on usage below for some more handy hints.

Beeswax Snack Pouches

how to fold beeswax wraps

My eldest daughter loves the little snack boxes of raisins.  I’ve found it’s cheaper and less wasteful on the packaging front to buy a big 1 kg bag of raisins and make my own little snack packs of raisins using the beeswax food wraps and a bit of origami.

how to fold beeswax wraps uk

1. Take a square of beeswax coated fabric and fold diagonally, as in picture two.

2.  Fold down the left-hand corner, as in picture 3.

3.  Fold down the left-hand corner like in picture 4, lining up the edge with the previous fold.

4.  Fold down the triangle that’s sticking up at the top.

5.  Flip it over and fold down the other triangle.

Open it up and fill it with raisins or any other snack of your choice

To seal, fold down the flap on the side that doesn’t have any folds in it, and you’re good to go!

homemade beeswax wrap diy

Beeswax Wraps Usage Tips

The most important thing to remember is beeswax melts at a low-ish temperature – the melting point of beeswax is around 62°C to 64°C, so any use that is going to be around or above that temperature is a big no-no.  Think cold.

With that in mind, wash your beeswax food wrap in cold soapy water using a gentle eco-friendly washing-up liquid, like Bio D*.  Avoid using alcohol-based washing up liquid as it can degrade your beeswax.  Leave to air dry, and don’t leave it on your radiator to dry!

Don’t put your wraps in your dishwasher or washing machine.  And definitely not your tumble drier!

Like cling film, your beeswax wrap is for food storage only – don’t use it in your oven or microwave.  The beeswax will melt and will leave a big mess that won’t be fun to clean up.

beeswax food wrap

I wouldn’t let your beeswax wrap come in direct contact with raw meat, as you can’t wash your wrap in hot water or sterilise it.  If you want to store raw meat using your wrap, I would put the meat in a bowl and use the wrap to cover the bowl.

Don’t use your wrap directly on hot food.  Let the food cool first before wrapping it.

You can freeze your fabric wraps.  I wouldn’t use it for long term freezer storage though – only for the food that you plan on freezing in the short term.  I would suggest no longer than one month.

When your beeswax food wrap stops losing the ability to fold, simply wash and re-wax it in the same manner as above.

Have fun making these beeswax wraps – I find it can get a bit addictive!