Here’s how to sustainably bake your world happy
From cupcakes to cookies and pies, we all love some homemade baking. But how often do we pause to think about the amount of waste we are producing when we bake? Implementing a more eco-conscious lifestyle means making important changes at home, especially in the kitchen where we spend most of our time.
We’ve gathered some of our favourite products and tips so that you can keep making yummy treats in an earth-friendly way…
1. Silicone Cupcake Molds
Cupcakes and muffins are delicious treats—but it’s unfortunate that their paper and foil liners end up in the landfill right after you eat them. This is why it’s important to choose a reusable option, such as these silicone molds, which not only cut down on waste, but also end up saving you money.
Available on Amazon
2. PaperChef Parchment Lotus Baking Cups
Can’t go without paper cupcake and muffin liners? Try these Parchment Lotus Baking Cups by PaperChef. These single serve cups are 100 percent biodegradable, non-stick and the variety of colours in the pack make them fun.
Available at Well.ca
3. Silicone Baking Mat
Opting for silicone mats means you can cut down on the amount of parchment paper you are using—and you won’t even need to use aerosol cooking sprays. Plus, these mats are very easy to clean which means less soap and water. *TIP: If you do need to use parchment paper, make sure it goes into the compost afterwards.
Available at Amazon
4. Beeswax Wraps
Made from 100 percent organic cotton, pure beeswax, jojoba oil and resin, these wraps are perfect for covering your ingredients and treats. We love that they are super easy to clean—just rinse them with cold water and hang to dry. You’ll never have to use plastic wrap again!
Available at Amazon
5. If You Care Cake or Pie Baking Pan
These paper baking pans are made from FSC-certified, unbleached, chlorine-free paper and do not need to be greased. Not to mention they are microwave- and oven-safe, and come in a pack of four.
Available at Natura World
6. OLA Bamboo Utensils
Utensils are definitely a must-have while baking, so replace your plastic spoons and spatulas with items that are compostable, eco-friendly and long-lasting. OLA Bamboo makes all of its products without pesticides and artificial fertilizers, and with each product sold, a portion of sales goes to Compensation CO2 to plant trees in Canada.
Available at OLA Bamboo
7. Cloth Piping Bags
Single-use plastics are extremely harmful to our environment, so we recommend opting for cloth piping bags versus common disposable ones when decorating your treats. This set by Aoory features three different sizes that are great quality, easy to use and non-toxic.
Available at Amazon
8. Mason Jars
These are a classic. Ditch the plastic containers and bags completely for storing your ingredients and leftovers. Mason Jars are reusable, easy to clean, and also make for perfect packaging when giving freshly baked goods to friends and family.
Available at Canadian Tire
More green baking tips
Photo by Hello I'm Nik 1. Bake from scratch
If you want to be more eco-friendly, bake from scratch as much as possible. Buying packaged mixes is quick and convenient, but the dry ingredients come in a plastic bag. Starting from scratch also means you get to select where your ingredients are coming from. This allows you to support local and buy freshly sourced dairy and produce, as well as only purchase the amount you need in bulk using your own jars.
2. Skip the artificial dyes
Making DIY food colouring is not only a fun activity, but it feels good to know you are creating something from the gorgeous hues of nature. Best of all, you probably already have most of the ingredients in your pantry or fridge, such as strawberries for pink icing, matcha for green icing, beets for red icing, plus more. All you're doing is mixing the ingredients into your homemade frosting or icing and voilà!
3. Use appliances at a minimum
Pay attention to how much electricity you're using. There are many ways to lower your carbon footprint, such as ditching the machine and stirring batter by hand; not preheating the oven on way in advance; and even purchasing newer energy-efficient appliances.
4. Cut down on food waste
There are several solutions to curb food waste in the kitchen while baking. One of our favourite philosophies is there is always a recipe for everything. If you’ve got any leftover ingredients, do a quick Internet search and see how you can use it to create something else. If not, make sure to always store your ingredients in a sustainable manner, and always compost properly when required. Also, make sure you are properly measuring your ingredients, so that you're using only what you need. Lastly, if you have extra treats from your baking endeavors, consider giving them to family and friends to enjoy, or they will also be appreciated at a local shelter nearby.
5. Ditch the aerosol baking sprays
The majority of cooking and baking sprays contain ingredients such as oil, lecithin (an emulsifier that stops oil from separating from other ingredients), and a propellant like propane. Stop using these cans completely, and try making your own. All you need is a spray bottle with equal parts of water and olive oil. Shake well before use, and it’s as simple as that.