C.S. Alexis enjoys fishing, hunting for morel mushrooms, and creating excellent dishes.
Sometimes The Old Way Is The Green Way: Wax Paper vs. Plastic Wrap
It occurred to me about a year ago that using wax paper is probably a better idea than using plastic wrap. Wax paper used to be the go-to wrapping in the kitchen. When I was a youngster, that was what they used. There were no zip lock bags; there were no regular fold-over flap sandwich bags. It was wax paper or nothing. Actually, some conservative, frugal types would pack sandwiches right into the old, empty bread bag itself. In fact, I remember many women who washed the bread bags out for reuse.
Looking back just a few decades, people were generally more conservative than the throw-away culture we have become. It was the way of life to not be wasteful. "Waste not, want not" was more than just an old saying. It was how most people lived. Today we live in a throw-away society that has recently found an awakening to the devastation that our wastefulness is causing. More people are taking pride in discovering ways to help the Earth. Going green is cool, and the state of our environment has become a mainstream concern. There is much we can learn from the wax paper generation.
Wax Paper Replaces Many Newer Kitchen Items
I have rediscovered using wax paper and actually like it better than alternative materials that are more commonly used in the kitchen. It can be used for sandwiches and other things that can be placed inside a sandwich bag. It can also be used in the microwave. I can pop my sandwich out of the fridge and straight in to the microwave. Try putting a baggie in the microwave, it's not a pleasant experience. That's not even including anything about the chemicals that are released when that plastic starts melting.
The paper can be cut off to match the need. I do not have to buy snack bags, sandwich bags, quart size, and gallon size. One paper fits almost all. It just depends on how much you tear off.
Now let's talk about the freezer. Paper is a good insulator against frost. I have been using the waxed paper between layers of meat such as steaks and hamburgers that are pre-made. When I do my pre-breading, for example when I freeze morel mushrooms, the wax paper works fine. I wrap up whatever I have in the wax paper and then reuse the plastic grocery store bags or regular plastic containers with lids. I am very pleased with the way the wax paper performs and I feel good about cutting out the plastic products.
Paper towels can often be replaced in certain situations in today's kitchen. Use waxed paper to stop that splatter in the microwave. It works perfectly. Sometimes I use a paper towel in place of a plate, like for a quick sandwich and a handful of chips. A square of waxed paper will serve as a place mat to eat from. You don't have to use a paper plate, foam plate, paper towel, or dirty a dish that will have to be washed. I am sure this is the conservative way to go.
Go green in the kitchen the old fashioned way and rediscover using wax paper.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
Janis Leslie Evans from Washington, DC on January 29, 2013:
I actually use wax paper for wrapping hubby's breakfast and for covering chicken when I pound (season) it. I grew up on it, too (Cut-Rite, blue, red, and gray box?)It's cleaner and prevents yucky juice splash. Thanks for this reminder to go green, C.S.
Kaz on January 16, 2012:
Wax paper is great, but it can't. E recycled and oil in the wax can make it poor for compost or landfills. Just make sure no petro is in the wax paper to make sure it is truly green.
Molly Kathleen from Portsmouth, NH on August 30, 2011:
Great points! Perhaps the folks on the Food Network have been reading your Hub!? I've noticed that Ina Garten likes to use wax paper for all of her to-go sandwiches! It's eco-friendly, functional, and way more fashionable than a Ziploc! Three cheers for wax paper! :)
Paul Cronin from Winnipeg on August 01, 2011:
Good information, we all need to do our part. This is a great example of little things we can do at home that really add up. Thanks for the tips too, especially about the freezer burn protection, I learned something new!
Laura on September 28, 2010:
I do a lot of charity work for Breast Cancer, and as you know, plastics have an effect on Estrogen in our bodies. I switched to wax paper, and I'm starting to use more glass jars, and not plastic for storing. It's a war out there on the Breast Cancer front. Wax Paper seems like a safer alternative.
Kelly Kline Burnett from Fontana, WI on July 07, 2010:
My future mother in law taught me that wax paper does well in the microwave. Great Hub! Love wax paper - it has to be better than that microwave plastic. So under utilized. Thanks for training us.
rebekahELLE from Tampa Bay on June 29, 2010:
very nice! I also have banned plastic wrap from my kitchen and love using the same wax paper that my mom always used.
I remember our sandwiches being wrapped neatly in waxed paper. I've also started using white distilled vinegar diluted to clean and shine sinks, counter tops, etc. instead of the harmful chemical cleaners. thanks for sharing.
VintageTidbits on February 20, 2010:
Great hub. I have also gone green with waxed paper. When using it to cover the top of a bowl in the fridge, I use a rubber band to keep it in place. I also have my mother's refrigerator dishes from the 1940s and use those instead of plastic.
C.S.Alexis (author) from NW Indiana on February 03, 2010:
I started reading your 50 ways hub and hope to read more of your writing. Love your passion. Thanks for visiting and commenting and do keep in touch. We are kindred spirits.
Oh and wash out all the bread bags you can reuse, I do the same.
Uva Be Dolezal from Washington State, searching for home town. on February 03, 2010:
Yeah! go renewables :) I have to admit I shake bread bags out and use them like the grandmother described in the top of your blog. Here's to everybody never purchasing plastic bags again, ever. I hope that more deli counters also return to the items wrapped in butcher paper with a sticker and away from plastic and styrofoam.
good informative hub thank you ~ Uva
C.S.Alexis (author) from NW Indiana on February 02, 2010:
Very good question. The answer is both wax paper and paper towel are biodegradable. Sandwich baggies....NOT!
Anita on February 02, 2010:
How does it benefit by using wax paper instead of a baggy or a paper towel if one is going to throw it away aftewards? I'm not trying to be snarky, I just suspect I missed something here. If I use it to prevent splatter, but then throw it away, how is that green? Wouldn't it be greener to clean the microwave with a washcloth and a green cleaner such as vinegar, lemon juice, ect.? Why is using a piece of wax paper better than a baggy for a sandwich if both options will then be thrown away?
Kasia on December 15, 2009:
i reallyyyyyy njoy my wax paper. I thinx w@cks paper is da b0mBB
guffly from Detroit, MI on June 30, 2009:
Great points! I'm going to be looking for wax paper that uses soy wax next time I'm shopping!
MoniqueAttinger from Georgetown, ON on June 09, 2009:
Yes! I did this some time ago for a number of reasons. It's not just green; it also protects your family from eating food that has absorbed "plasticizers" - which are generally hormone mimics and potentially more dangerous than we think. On top of all the other benefits you mention - it is also acceptable in most municipal composting programs.
Look for wax paper that uses soy wax instead of petroleum-based waxes, for the best "green" of all.
C.S.Alexis (author) from NW Indiana on May 12, 2009:
Peanut butter and grape jelly! ronibgood....
Jama, I hardly eat cereal but great idea for Mom's who go through box after box!...
K,D,glad you dropped a comment,
thank you all for reading my latest.
K.D. Clement from USA on May 12, 2009:
Haha! Yep. We live in a want more, waste a lot culture. Nice tips in here. I love wax paper.
Joanna McKenna from Central Oklahoma on May 12, 2009:
I've just started using wax paper again to wrap sandwiches for brownbag lunches. I also save the bags from cereal boxes for wrapping sandwiches. Two 'wiches will fit neatly side by side.
As for "mats" for snacking, coffee filters work great too!
santoion on May 12, 2009:
Very good hub.Thank You !
ronibgood on May 12, 2009:
Very good points. I can remember those times myself.
Sandra Mireles from Texas on May 11, 2009:
Thanks for a timely reminder. I keep wax paper have not in recent years put it to good use. Perhaps it is time to return to an old product that is still a good choice. Good hub.
C.S.Alexis (author) from NW Indiana on May 11, 2009:
SweetiePie from Southern California, USA on May 11, 2009:
Great tips on how to use wax paper to avoid mircowave splatter. I definitely should try that.