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  • Writer's pictureAlana Wynn

Eco-Friendly Baking Tips

Updated: Dec 6, 2021

Simple tips for lowering your impact on the environment while still baking up dozens of cookies for loved ones!

One of my favorite gifts to give out during the holidays are baked goods. Typical and on brand, I know! Not many people bake that often and therefor are SO excited to receive something homemade. This year when you are planning your baking extravaganza, plan ahead and think about how you can limit your waste. Just making a small change in your holiday habits will make a huge difference years down the road. Last year I invested in some reusable gift wrap! Below you can read about some small ways to bake eco-friendly this holiday season while still spreading cheer to loved ones :)

Silicone Mats Over Parchment Paper

Cut out gingerbread cookies on a baking sheet.

Making choices that benefit the environment and lower the amount of waste you produce don't always start with a life altering change! If you know you will be baking dozens of cookies this season investing in some silicone matts are the best way to start. Swap out the paper for this reusable option that will last you years of baking and not just the next dozen. Though I will agree there are some pastries that can't use on the mats, it is still worth it for cookie baking alone :) This is also a great gift to get the avid baker in your life. One can never have enough of these!

Put Down the Plastic Wrap, Use Containers and Butter Wrappers Instead

Plastic wrap is a tough one because so many recipes recommend you use it to wrap up your doughs or cover your puddings, but I urge you to use an alternative! It has a short shelf life (literally sitting in your fridge for 2 hours), just to be thrown away to last a 1,000 years in a landfill OR in our oceans. I have chilled dough in tupperware and guess what, still just as edible when it comes out of the fridge! With it being cookie season I know you are going through insane amounts of butter. Grab one of your large containers and separate the dough discs with your butter wrappers. They work like a charm!

Box up your Bakes in Take Out Containers with Added Pizzaz

A plastic container filled with cookies and surrounded by holiday ribbons and bags.

Is your pile of plastic take out containers over flowing out of your closet? Some single use plastics, like getting take out, are inevitable. So give those containers a second life and use them to gift your cookie boxes! All they need is a little extra love, with ribbons, bows or even some stickers.

Buy in Bulk If You Are Baking Dozens on Dozens

Something I am sure you have heard hundreds of times when you search this topic, but this is a great time to make a special trip to the bulk bin aisle at the specialty grocery store. Whole foods has a great bulk bin section where you can bring your own bag and load up on your oats, nuts and even flour for your baking needs! It's an extra step, but think about all the small plastic bags you would be throwing out from what you would have bought in the baking aisle.

Keep Those Cookie Scraps! Save Them For Projects or Late Night Cookie Emergencies

The freezer is your friend. Ball up your scraps, throw them in a container and save them until... 🤷🏻‍♀️ who knows! There will come a time where you wish you could have a fresh cookie and it will be minutes away. If you're an avid baker the left over scraps could be used for topping cakes or other bakes. Hang onto them and you might surprise yourself when they will come in handy.

Cookie cut outs and dough scraps.

Natural Food Coloring

Finding natural ways to color your frostings, cookies etc eliminates any artificial flavors or chemicals. It also eliminates the use of those tiny plastic bottles that will add even more waste to your baking endeavors. Food52 has an awesome article here to walk you through the best ways to use natural items to get the right color.

How do you prevent unnecessary waste in the kitchen? Please comment below!

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