Sustainable Baking Practices

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Sustainable Baking Practices

by Akhileshwari Anand Raj   As bakers, whether professionally or just for fun, we know that the materials that we use may sometimes lead to a lot of plastic usage and subsequent wastage. Even with the government taking steps to manage plastic use, including complete bans, it somehow sneaks up in our lives. The need of the hour is mindfulness, and it has led to various discussions on how to reduce the use of plastic and how to better reuse and recycle. Go to any road corner in a big city in India, and you will understand why we need to make this switch to a more sustainable lifestyle. Here are some of the things I think will better help our plastic usage go down! Who knows, may be you can also save money and get some perks out of this too.

1. Piping Bags have to go!

It is very common for us to use plastic and single use piping bags which are available for reasonable prices and save us the hassle of washing up. The issue is that if you use even one bag a week, that is 52 bags in just one year. Instead of this, you can reuse the milk packets that you get your milk in when you buy from local dairies. Not only is the packet technically free, the milk will also be cheaper in value than your carton bought milk. This is a great way for you to avoid purchasing piping bags unnecessarily. Another alternative is a cloth piping bag, which is steeper in price than plastic single use ones. But the advantage is that a good bag will last you years if cared for properly. The only issue is washing it properly every time. You may also have to buy several of them if you are making multi coloured cakes and need icing of different colours at the same time. Your best bet is to use milk packets.

2. Shop local for your baking ingredients

One thing that we have conveniently forgotten are corner stores which have all your grocery needs. Many supermarkets claim to have great offers on price and quality when it comes to these, but nothing really beats your local produce store. For basic ingredients like flour, sugar and baking powder and baking soda, you can buy from your local store in bulk and use it over time. This will help you avoid excessive packaging and you save some money too. Many stores will let you bring your own containers to buy your ingredients, so you can skip the plastic bags entirely on this one. For more niche ingredients like ragi flour or butter, you can also try local stores run by the government which sell these at competitive prices in bulk.

3. Do not use single use baking trays

Single use baking trays were a huge discovery which is especially useful during the holiday season. It allows you to bake and pack in the same carton, but is very wasteful. A better way to do this would be to use your ordinary trays and tins. Package your cakes in a more eco friendly material like cardboard boxes or brown paper bags. This way, you avoid spending a lot of money but also get the job done.

4. Compost your scraps

For bakers who bake a lot of pies or fruit cakes, do not let the peels and seeds of these go to waste. You can compost them and add value to your soil, and there are many ways to do this. You can put these in a pit in your garden or backyard, or even get a starter kit for composting and do as it requires.

5. Keep track of your inventory to avoid buying something you already have

It does get challenging to keep track of everything that you have. But once you get a hang of maintaining your inventory and knowing when to buy what, you will be less wasteful. Have an organized space in your kitchen or studio for ingredients and be careful of how you store them. Another issue is over shopping. Bakers are always interested in getting their hands on new releases, whether it is sprinkles or tools that we use. While many of these will be useful, always take a step back and decide whether you want really need something. Only if it seems useful should you buy it. Click here to order a cake from homebakers.co.in

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