Maui Girl Speaks Her Truth & Then Does Something About It

“Bee Akamai was born out of my own desire to live more sustainably, 'waste not, want not’. The mess we humans are making out of our world overwhelms me. Living on an island means that we have finite space and therefore an extremely limited capacity for dealing with our waste. Given that fact, it seems like we ought to be hyper aware of our consumption habits.” -Lani Galetto (Founder of Bee Akamai)
Photo By  Angelina Hills

At Mana Foods supporting local, protecting our environment, and simple, yet glorious, innovation are all at the top of our “favorite things” list. 

Maui girl, Lani Galetto, the founder of Bee Akamai sees eye-to-eye with us in a big way. The whole premise behind Bee Akamai is to provide an eco-friendly way to store food, eliminating the need to use saran-wrap, tinfoil, plastic bags and other single-use options. 

Lani’s Bee Akamai products are sold at Mana Foods and can be found hanging in the house-ware corner, located in the bulk room (in the back of the store). 

We took a little time to unearth Lani’s thoughts and motivation behind starting this company, as well as gather some exciting product information to share with you all. 

“I have found that the simplest solutions are often the most eco friendly ones. What was it like in our grandparent's day, before there were ziplock baggies and styrofoam plates, before buying to throw away was normal? Making small lifestyle changes like simplifying our diets and steering away from ‘disposable’ products can have a big impact.”

“Keep food fresh with Bee Akamai Eco Wraps; a sustainable food storage solution for the conscious consumer!” -Bee Akamai

These reusable, handmade food storage wraps are made from all natural ingredients and come in a plethora of beautifully colorful patterns! 

• Made From: organic cotton fabric, Hawaiian bees wax, Tree resin, & Organic coconut oil.

“In my own quest to live sustainably I have made some easy yet significant changes; like switching out paper napkins for cloth, handkerchiefs instead of Kleenex, and of course waxed cotton wraps in place of cellophane or aluminum foil. Waxed cotton is nothing new, but perhaps it is more pertinent today, in the age of disposability, than ever before.” -Galetto
Photo By  Angelina Hills

When & how did the idea of waxed, eco-friendly food wraps manifest into Bee Akamai?

“I bought some wraps on a trip to New Zealand and fell in love. They are so versatile, I'm constantly finding new ways to use them. Upon returning home I realized that there was nowhere on Maui to buy them, so I set out to make my own wraps and provide my community with a sustainable, locally made, specialty product.” 

“Sustainability and quality is my primary objective in the creation of my Eco Wraps.”

Both the wraps and the packaging are made with biodegradable materials, and are 100% compostable. The paper tags are made with recycled paper, the package is made from plant based cellulose. The wraps are made with organic cotton, infused with locally sourced organic beeswax, coconut oil, and pine tree resin. Each wrap is artisan made by hand.” - Galetto

What really gives this company soul is that Lani wholeheartedly believes that we collectively need to make lifestyle changes in order to fight for the environment. And, rather than just talking the talk, she is actually offering the world an alternative choice that allows us to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle.

"We seriously need to reevaluate our notion of disposability and make a conscious effort to modify our consumption habits. When we choose the ‘disposable’ option are we just being lazy, or is it that we are so accustomed to our disposable lifestyle we have forgotten other options exist?  Buying in bulk, refusing plastic cutlery and straws, bringing your own bags, etc. does make a difference (mana food bag credit program). ”
“Tremendous amounts of resources are used to make single use products, and throwing them away does not make them disappear. It may be out of sight and out of mind, but the ugly reality is that we are essentially producing trash that will be around to haunt our descendants for generations to come.” -Galetto

In just one year Lani has learned quite a bit about how to optimize her products and has adjusted them accordingly. 

“I am pleased to see how much my business has evolved in the last year. Upon getting feedback from my customers I doubled the size of the wraps, (they are now bigger than most other brands). Wraps are now sold separately so customers can mix and match the patterns, and get exactly the sizes they want.” 
“Probably the most important improvement was finding the right mixture to infuse them with. Instead of just purely wax I now blend in pine tree resin and coconut oil which dramatically increases the wrap's life span, AND makes them way stickier! The stickiness is important because you want the fabric to be pliable and be able to stick to itself or whatever you are wrapping.” -Galetto

Some of her favorite/suggested ways to use Bee Akamai Wraps are…

“I use them to cover fruits and veggies; like half eaten tomatoes or avos, also to wrap up cheeses. When covering a bowl or a cup just stretch the wrap across the opening and press your hands around the edges to warm up the wax so that it sticks to the sides and makes an airtight seal. I use the larger sizes for covering platters, salad bowls, and wrapping up sandwiches."
“Another great way to use them is to fold them into an envelope and fill them with snacks.  My kids take little ecowrap pouches full of goodies in their lunch boxes to school.”
“ Bee Akamai ecowraps are non toxic, (and in fact beeswax is antibacterial), reusable, washable and compostable!” -Galetto

“I hope we can be 'akamai' (or smart) in curbing our consumption habits.”

“It gives me hope to see more companies rethinking their packaging as well as their products; cutting out waste from the source. We, as consumers, have the power to demand ethically made products, and environmentally responsible practices, from the companies that we support.” -Galetto
Photo By  Angelina Hills