Tree-hugger… Nature-lover… Hippie… Whatever you can think of along these lines, I’ve probably been called it.
Even when I was little, my favorite show was Captain Planet (what a dreamboat…) and my favorite book was The Lorax by Dr. Seuss. It’s still one of my favorite books, so it only makes sense that this little, orange environmentalist makes an appearance on the blog for Earth Day! And who is the Lorax without the Truffula Trees for which he speaks?
But before we get to the sweet stuff, I just wanted to share with you a short list of easy and free or inexpensive things we can do in the kitchen (perhaps while making these treats?) to help green up our habits and lessen our carbon footprint. Every little bit counts, right?
- First off, did you know the handy little CandiQuik tray is recyclable? True story, so recycle that thing!
- While we’re on the subject… almost anything can be recycled in one way or another and all the cool kids are doing it.
- Use a cloth bag or reuse plastic or paper ones you already have when shopping. Many stores will give you a discount for bringing your own bag and who doesn’t love a discount?
- Use cloth towels and napkins instead of paper. We go through 13 billion pounds of paper towels each year in the US – Yikes!
- Make a “Fridge Triage Box” to help use foods that are about to go bad and reduce waste. The average family of four in the US throws away $130-$175 of food a month! That’s almost 2 years of Netflix.
- Another awesome thing about CandiQuik is you can save any leftover to use later! No need to throw it away and waste precious chocolate (and money). Just store the whole tray in a reusable, airtight food container in your cupboard. When it’s time to make more treats, simply pop the CandiQuik tray back in the microwave and decrease the initial microwave time.
- Running your dishwasher when full and properly loaded instead of hand washing your dishes can save up to 5,000 gallons of water a year.
- Feel free to skip the heat dry cycle on your dishwasher, too. Just leave the door open a crack after the last rinse and the warm dishes will dry themselves!
- Ditch the toxic cleaning products and become best friends with vinegar and baking soda. Inexpensive, natural, can clean just about anything, and the vinegar smell doesn’t stick around. I even clean my carpets with it and I have animals of the 4-legged and 2-legged variety at home.
- Reduce cook time and use up to 75% less energy by covering your pans while cooking and boiling water.
- Faucet aerators and low-flow shower heads reduce the amount of water you use without sacrificing water pressure. I got mine for free from my energy company, so check what kind of home kits your company might offer!
Alright, still with me? Good! Earth Day on April 22, but I bet the Blue Planet appreciates recognition every day of the year, so let’s do her proud!
To make the Truffula Tree Pops, simply follow my Cake Pop Tutorial and use oil-based or powdered candy colors with sugar sprinkles to match. You probably don’t need to color the Vanilla CandiQuik considering these Truffula Trees are completely covered in sprinkles, but I had the colors, so why not?
- 1 (16oz) package Vanilla CandiQuik
- 1 package Nutter Butter cookies
- Yellow and orange oil-based or powdered candy colors (I use AmeriColor)
- Candy eyes
- Break off ¼ of the CandiQuik bar and set aside in a mug or small bowl.
- Melt remaining CandiQuik in the microwavable tray according to package directions. Once melted, add orange candy color until desired color is reached.
- Coat Nutter Butter cookies in orange CandiQuik (I like to use two forks to do this) and set on waxed or parchment paper, add two candy eyes, and allow to dry.
- Melt ¼ set aside in a mug or small bowl for 45 seconds followed by 15-second increments, stirring between each increment. Once melted, add yellow candy color until desired color is reached.
- Pour yellow CandiQuik into a pastry bag or Ziploc bag with a small corner cut off. Pipe Lorax mustache and eyebrows onto cookies and allow to dry.
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” – Dr. Seuss, The Lorax
Check out last year’s Earth Day recipe!