Category Archives: Plastic free

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How to make your own insect repellent

Ingredients:

Coconut oil
Eucalyptus oil
Tea tree oil
Citronella oil

Instructions:

For a 25ml bottle of repellent: fill 90% with coconut oil. Add 5 drops of citronella, 2 drops of eucalypt and 2 drops of tea tree – voila!

The coconut oil moisterises the skin, which prevents the other oils drying your skin out. It also dilutes the strong essential oils, so that it can be spread across the skin. It has a pleasent and strong smell that repels mossies and midgies.


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My Plastic-Free July: Amalia’s Story

Check out this Plastic Free July story from our intern at CAFNEC, Amalia. Amalia is studying at Monash University in Melbourne and originally hails from Java, Indonesia.

Hey there!

It’s been two weeks since I pledged to refuse the top 4 single-use plastic i.e. plastic bags, straws, coffee cups, and plastic bottles. It’s been pretty good so far. I made it a habit of carrying a keep cup, a bottle, and an extra food container whenever I go out. So here’s my plastic-free July journey so far:

In my first plastic free July week I went to a drive-in cinema in Mareeba and requested my milkshake to be put in my own bottle. My friend stepped back when I ordered, but I got my plastic free chocolate milkshake! Feeling more confident, I tried to order more plastic-free food and beverage that night, I rinsed my bottle with water and ordered a large hot chocolate with marshmallow + a box fries, walked back to the car only to find the ketchup was packaged in plastic! Nooo!

I sent this article to my dad back home. He was pretty excited. Hopefully I can get my family on board to go plastic-free.

Last night I was craving for some food from home and brought my own food container to a Malaysian Restaurant. I ended up buying too much food and had to take one of their food containers home.

In my second week, I tried to cook or dine-in as much as possible, to avoid plastic containers, I have been doing pretty well. I even used my keep cup to get a huge scoop of ice cream on the way back from Fitzroy Island. But yesterday, I went to a sushi restaurant and ordered some food. After a while, a friendly waiter came and handed my sushi rolls in a food container, inside a plastic bag! I asked them whether I can have the sushi on a plate. I felt upset because I know that they will probably throw away the plastic container and the bag.

No cones? You can use your keep cup as an alternative to single-use plastic

No cones? You can use your keep cup as an alternative to single-use plastic

Plastic has a huge presence in our daily life. It took me a while to change my mindset and consumption behavior, and the experience has been quite challenging. It’s even tougher to change other people’s behavior and view towards plastic. However through this experience, I learned that communication is an important key. You can make a difference by talking to your friends, family, the cashier, your local grocer, and to other awesome people who’s going plastic free to share your challenges and get useful plastic-free tips.

If you are interested in joining us and learn more about the cause, come to our weekly workshop. It’s never too late to live a plastic-free life.

Cheers,
Amalia


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How to Make Beeswax Reusable Food Wraps

 

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Materials:

  • Beeswax, grated
  • 100% cotton fabric
  • Baking paper
  • Grater (used only for beeswax)
  • Paintbrush
  • Makeshift clothes line

Using an Iron

  1. Cut the fabric to desired size using pinking shears to prevent the edges from fraying. Commonly used sizes include 34cmx33cm, 28cmx29cm and 19cmx20cm. You can customize size and shaped to suit the items you want to cover.
  2. Place the fabric on a piece of baking paper and sprinkle evenly and lightly with grated beeswax. Its best to start out with less than you think because it is easy to add more if needed.
  3. Cover with a second piece of baking paper and iron gently so the wax melts and spread across the fabric. If you press too hard the melted wax will come out the sides of the paper.
  4. Carefully peel the fabric off the baking paper and hang on a makeshift clothesline to dry. Be careful as the fabric can be quite hot. Once cooled you can use it.

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Using an oven

  1. Preheat oven to 85oC
  2. Cut the fabric to desired size using pinking shears to prevent the edges from fraying. Commonly used sizes include 34cmx33cm, 28cmx29cm and 19cmx20cm. You can customize size and shaped to suit the items you want to cover.
  3. Place on cooking tray covered with baking paper or foil.
  4. Sprinkle evenly and lightly with beeswax. You need less than you think!
  5. Place in the preheated oven and watch until all the wax is melted. This should take 5 minutes or less.
  6. Once the beeswax is just melted, remove from oven and use a paintbrush to spread the wax evenly to cover any areas that are not yet coated.
  7. Hang on a makeshift clothesline to dry. Be careful as the fabric can be quite hot. Once cooled you can use it.

Cleaning

  • Wash in cool water with a mild soap. While they can be used for meat it is best to allocate particular wraps for that use to prevent spreading bacteria.

Tips

  • If you think the fabric is not coated enough you can add a little more beeswax and repeat the heating process you have chosen.
  • Sometimes the wraps take a few uses to reach their sticking potential. Scrunching them up a few times tends to get the beeswax working.
  • It is also useful to warm them up with your hands before using to help them stick better.
  • Wraps should last several months. If they start to lose their stickiness, just add some more beeswax.

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Plastic Free July: Weekly Catchup 2

Weekly Catchups Flyers

Plastic Free July Weekly Catchup 2: Making Beeswax wraps

This week Alice will be demonstrating how to make your own wax wrap. Wax wraps are great for storing, preserving and covering food. If you feel inspired by that, a donation will let you have a go at making your own (lots of fun). Alice is also going to show you her home-made produce bags and how you might make one yourself!

Week 2 Program
5.30 pm – Meet & Greet
5.45 pm – Dilemma bag (what did you struggle with?)
6:15 pm – Successes! (what did you do well with?)
6.30 pm – Activity Time: Beeswax wraps
7:15 pm – Snacks & relax
7:30 pm – Hammock Café closes

We’ll be meeting every Thursday in July at 5.30pm at the Hammock Cafe (70 Abbott St Cairns) to share stories, run plastic free workshops and giveaway some cool prizes!

Check out the Facebook event 

We hope to see you there!


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Plastic Free Toothpaste Recipe

Ingredients:

Bicarb soda
Coconut oil
Peppermint essential oil

Materials:

Jar or vessel
Spoon

Time to make:

5 minutes!

Instructions:

1. Mix bicarb soda and coconut oil until you get a nice toothpaste-like consistency (not too dry and flaky, not too liquid). Start with bicarb in your jar and then add coconut oil in spoonfuls until you reach the consistency.
2. Add a couple of drops of peppermint essential oils (or another).

How to use:

Just like normal toothpaste spoon a small amount onto your brush and go for it. You don’t have to add the peppermint if you don’t want to – The taste is salty, but coconutty, salted coconut anyone?

Voila!