Sunday, January 27, 2013

How To Make Green Cupcakes!

     Every year my husband likes to have a groundhogs day party. I think he does it because no one else does it and it is outside of the norm. Every year there is a different theme. This year it is CUPCAKES! I mean who doesn't like a good cupcake? I think no one! Well we have been trying out a few recipes and  was thinking the other day, How can I make this less wasteful? We have been using preboxed items like flour, sugar, and other such items. I don't know why I didn't think of this before making my first batch but we can get all of those items from the bulk bins at Sprouts Farmers Market and not only get them cheaper but also without having to throw away all of that packaging.

     The other thing that I thought of and it was driving me crazy was the cupcake liners. How can you have a cupcake without a liner? Well I was at World Market and saw these amazing reusable silicone cupcake liners. I bought a bunch and love the idea that I will not be wasting paper every time I eat a cupcake. I have done some research and no one truly knows if they are 100% safe. It's just like plastic no one knew that it was harmful until recently. The only other thing is that if I don't need or want them anymore then I plan on giving them away to a friend or donating them as these are not biodegradable. I do feel these are better than paper and seem safe from research and the fact is they do not leave a taste or smell behind on the food. I also like that they are easy to clean.
     What I would really like to do is source all of my flour, sugar and other ingredients from local farms if I can. If not I want them from as close to me as possible. I feel that the less gas it takes to get ingredients the better. Gas is is such a terrible polluter. I would also love to support local farms! I can't wait to get started making my eco-friendly cupcakes!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Being Green and Foster Care

     As I shared we are now foster parents and I love it. I feel like I am really helping. We decided to go through Hope and Home to get our certificate. I just love them, they are so focused on helping kids.  I wish I could help every child that we get a call for but it is impossible. I am just going to do what I can. I didn't really know what to expect. I mean they prepare you as best they can but every child is different. We have a 14 year old with us now and it is going really well. We get along for the most part and he seems to be adjusting.

     I knew that whatever child we got in our home might have some issues with the way we do things. Turns out to be a little more than I thought. It is hard to be completely "green" with foster kids. They just don't get a lot of education on the subject. They eat more junk food which takes more packaging. They don't know a lot about recycling or using natural products. When he found out that I make my own laundry detergent he looked at me like I was crazy. He couldn't understand why I would make my own. I explained that I do it because it has only has 3 ingredients and that they are completely natural. I also said that there was the added benefit of saving money. He also thinks that it is strange that we use cloth toilet paper. He is coming around to the idea of it and it is not uncommon among anyone little alone someone that has not been exposed to any ideas of being environmentally friendly. The hard part is trying to get him to change his habits. Like putting things in the recycle bin rather than the trash. Being 14 years old he is pretty stuck in his ways, I know most teens are. I guess I thought this part of foster care would be the easiest but it's one of the hardest things. This goes down to my core. This is how we live and what we believe in. I am still trying to figure out how to instill some of these positive traits.

     I am thinking that after winter is over that maybe it will be easier. We can help clean parks and plant trees. Meeting with more groups that have people that believe what we do and getting him involved with the community could help rub some of this off on him. Education is the key. I wasn't exactly a "model" citizen to the environment before I was 24. I had to learn these things on my own. I have done a ton of research on the subject and came to all of my own conclusions. What really started me on looking into it was all the trash on the side of the road. One day I just starred at it as I thought to myself, "that just can't be good for the environment". Even when they have inmates clean it up, they use plastic bags and they just put it all in a landfill. Makes it look nice but doesn't help much. I guess for me it was more common sense but I have learned that sometimes people learn more by example.

It looks like he will be with us for a while so I guess my hope is that we can just be a positive example for him. If he learns how to be kinder on the environment whiles he here than great! I can't force anything on him. I wish it was easier so that we could nicer to Mother Earth but for now this is what I can do. I hope for now that she can forgive me.