Madison Leads the Charge: Eco-Friendly Beeswax Wraps in Boarding Houses

In an inspiring initiative to promote sustainability within our school community, Year 9 boarder Madison has taken a significant step towards reducing plastic waste in our boarding houses. As a proactive member of the Eco Sisters, Madison recently proposed the use of beeswax wraps as an eco-friendly alternative to cling wrap in the boarding house kitchens. Her idea quickly gained support from Joanne Priest, Eco Sisters Coordinator, and Jane Murray, Director of Boarding. We caught up with Madison to learn more about her inspiration, the process of introducing the wraps, and the positive impact she hopes this change will bring to both the environment and our boarding community.

What inspired you to introduce beeswax wraps as an alternative to cling wrap in the boarding houses?

“During one of our Sunday house meetings, the topic of Earth Day came up, and everyone started discussing the wax wraps being sold at lunchtime. Someone suggested we should use beeswax wraps in boarding, and I thought that would be a great alternative to using cling wrap. In boarding, we use a lot of cling wrap to save meals for later and to keep foods in the fridge cold. Switching to beeswax wraps would not only reduce our plastic waste but also align with our efforts to be more environmentally conscious. Plus, it’s a small yet impactful change that everyone in boarding can easily adopt.”

What was the process to introduce the wraps into boarding?

When I had the idea of bringing beeswax wraps to boarding, I first discussed it with Mrs Priest, suggesting it would be a great way to help our community reduce waste. She agreed, and we delivered ten wax wraps to each of the four houses this week. We also prepared a printed guide on how to clean and care for the wraps, using the back of a Coles brown paper bag to make it both practical and eco-friendly.

At the boarders meeting on Monday, Mrs Murray addressed everyone, reading out the guide and expressing her appreciation for our initiative. She thanked the Eco Sisters for our innovative idea and emphasised how this small change could impact our sustainability efforts, and I felt proud to be part of a group making a positive difference towards our waste in boarding.”

How do you think using beeswax wraps will help the environment and our boarding community?

“Using beeswax wraps will help the environment in several ways. First, they reduce the amount of plastic waste we produce because we won’t need to use cling wrap as much. Cling wrap is used once and then thrown away, adding a lot of plastic to landfill and the ocean. Beeswax wraps, on the other hand, can be reused many times, which means less trash and less pollution. Second, beeswax wraps are made from natural materials like cotton and beeswax, which are biodegradable. This means that even when they wear out, they will break down naturally and won’t harm the environment. For our boarding community, beeswax wraps will make a big difference as well. By switching to beeswax wraps, we can cut down on the amount of plastic we throw away and set a great example of being environmentally responsible. It’s also a fun and easy way for everyone to get involved in making a positive change.”

What tips do you have for other students who want to start eco-friendly projects in the boarding houses?

“I believe that it is a great idea to get everyone involved and have that mindset to make a change to the way that we are living and helping the environment by being sustainable. Some tips are to start small, maybe as an idea or a thought, and then keep adding to that until you have a solid plan, think creatively and be open to changes and new ideas. Finally, involve more boarders, this is a great chance to get closer to your friends and boarding community and often things move faster when more people are involved and helping out.”

Can you tell us briefly how you and the Eco Sisters make the beeswax wraps?

“First, we put on our aprons and select a sheet of fabric from a variety of patterns, shapes, and sizes. Then, we head over to a station equipped with an iron, heat mat, and a cup. Filling our cups with beeswax beads, we return to our workspace and lay the fabric flat, sprinkling the beads over it. Placing parchment paper on top, we set the iron to a low heat to avoid burning the wax. Slowly, we glide the iron over the paper, melting the beads and saturating the fabric. After five to ten minutes, the wraps finish absorbing the wax and are left to cool. Once cooled, we trim the excess fabric, fold them neatly, and voila! Your beeswax wrap is ready to use, helping to recycle and contribute to a sustainable Earth.”

Thank you Madison, and congratulations on a great initiative for our boarding school.

Shaping Future Leaders- Jennifer Oaten

At Santa Maria College, we believe that leadership is a journey of learning, not just a title or position. For over 80 years, our Year 12 students have been at the forefront of shaping our school’s culture through their leadership. As one cohort graduates and another takes the helm, the baton of leadership is passed, igniting the potential within each new group of young women.

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