"Green" Cupcakes and Other Earth Day Eating Ideas

Responsible cupcakes!? We must be kidding, right? Nope. Sprinkles Cupcakes, the first cupcake-only bakery in the world (they swear they spawned the craze), has quietly donated over $1.3 million in cash and cupcakes since first opening its doors in 2004. In celebration of Earth Day, the cake maker and several other green-minded eateries are taking green feasting to a whole new tier.

This week, Sprinkles will donate 100 percent of the proceeds of its Earth Day Cupcakes to local tree planting and environmental organizations. TreePeople, Texas Trees Foundation, Surfrider Foundation, Committee for Green Foothills and Desert Botanical Garden will all collect cash from the sale of the baked treats. Just pick up one or a dozen of the "Madagascar bourbon vanilla" cupcakes topped deliciously with a frosting green tree, available at all Sprinkles locations from April 19-23, to contribute to the cause. Since 2008, the do-gooding bakery has raised $21,250 for environmental causes.

Don’t have a sweet tooth? Benevolent noshing options abound, especially this week. Many local restaurants, such as Washington D.C.’s Tallula, will be celebrating Earth Day by offering a special menu built with locally-grown ingredients (Bison Carpaccio, anyone?). Or you can take your business to a restaurant like St. Helena, Calif.’s Farmstead, where 100 percent of wine corkage fees are donated to a local high school’s responsible agriculture program. That’s what we call BYOB and a bag of wood chips.

Of course cooking responsibly yourself, or minimizing your "Cookprint,"as Cooking Green author Kate Heyhoe advises, might be the easiest and most rewarding way to celebrate Earth Day on the culinary front. Among other unpredictable nuggets of wisdom provided by Heyhoe in an interview with the Washington Post, she suggests refraining from using your garbage disposal this week. "It wastes electricity, gasoline and water" and "the chewed up gunk ends up being trucked to the landfill after being processed at the waste water plant."

More standard green eating advice includes eating organic, buying locally-grown and seasonal produce and using environmentally responsible cleaning materials. Great advice we’d be wise to follow every day, much less this week. We’ll have to get back to you about the 365-day cupcake diet however.

Story by Sam Brand. Originally published by Tonic

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