No Power? No Problem – Survival Project for Kids

sustainablecraig.com babybel cheese candle - 1
In recent months we have had severe wind storms in the Pacific Northwest that knocked out power in several homes in my area.

Odds are if you are in your house and the power goes out, you already have some food, water, shelter, and security but one can always use more light.

With one wheel of Babybel cheese from the fridge and one square of toilet paper you can make a candle with a burn time of roughly 20 minutes.
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Step 1: Eat the cheese but save the wax coating and the plastic wrapper.

Step 2: Place the wax center piece in between the two wax halves from the cheese wheel and flatten them together.

Step 3: Cut or tear a piece of the toilet paper approximately 3/4’” by 3 inches. Then peel the two layers of the tissue so that you have 2 identical pieces.

Step 4: Twist each piece of tissue individually. Then twist the 2 pieces together until they form a wick.

Step 5: Press the wick into the center of the flattened wax, and then wrap the wax around the wick forming a candle shape.

Step 6: Place the wrapper under the candle to catch the melted wax. Then press the bottom of the candle down against a hard surface to flatten the base allowing it to stand on its own.

Step 7: Light the candle and enjoy the satisfaction of watching your child turn garbage into a useful project every time you buy that cheese.
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I actually came up with this while sitting at the kitchen table with my girlfriend’s kids after they had eaten a few mini cheese wheels. I hated to throw away the wax and thought this would be a practical way for them to practice their cordage skills by making wicks.

Note the method for making the wick is the same method for making rope/cordage out in the forest, except you’ll substitute tissue paper for grass, bark, sinew, or another fibrous material.

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About SustainableCraig

I am a military veteran, urban farmer, and financial coach whose goal is to spread knowledge of financial literacy and sustainability throughout the Pacific Northwest. I enjoy spending time outdoors where I frequently test my wilderness survival skills.
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