Desserts for celebrating Earth Day

Desserts for celebrating Earth Day

Some funny; some serious.

Earth Day is coming around on April 22. This annual holiday began in 1970 as a way to focus worldwide attention on global environmental issues, as well as provide a "day of service" for public clean-ups, recycling drives, and other forms of civic-minded eco-activism. Once you have finished a hard day helping out the planet, here are some ideas for kicking back with a sweet treat.

1. Endangered Species chocolate
These delicious chocolate bars use shade grown, Fair Trade certified cacao. This makes it one of the few chocolate bars available in America that is not produced with child slave labor and habitat destruction. (Although Fair Trade certification is common for chocolate sold in Britain and the European Union, America is way behind the curve on this one.) Plus, a percentage of the profits goes to benefit various endangered species and habitat conservation efforts. 
 
This gourmet chocolate may be difficult to track down in your area, but it is as delicious as it is socially responsible. If you have the option, I recommend buying a selection of the smaller squares, which gives you the most variety for your dollar. 
 
2. Baked Alaska
This dessert is made of cake topped with ice cream and meringue, then baked quickly in a hot oven just long enough to brown the meringue. Eat it fast because it melts quickly - just like the glaciers in Alaska, which are retreating at a startling rate, and the seasonal ice pack which is stranding polar bears left and right.
 
3. Caramel with sea salt
Salted caramel is one of the best new flavors of the last decade. Sometimes it's tiresome the way people insist on pairing weird things, but when it comes to caramel and sea salt, the experimentation really paid off.
 
Our planet's oceans are at risk on all sides from industrial pollution, plastic waste, acidification caused by air pollution, overfishing, and the skyrocketing rise in oceanic shipping traffic. Think of the oceans as you savor the salt which for hundreds of years has been harvested by evaporating ocean water in traditional lagoons.
 
4. Pecan, peach, or apple pie
Earth Day's convenient proximity to Arbor Day means that planting trees has become a big part of Earth Day celebrations. Trees provide shade, biodiversity, a carbon sink, and play an important role in air filtration. 
 
Celebrate our helpful tree friends by making a pie out of things that grow on trees. If you live in an area where they are grown, be sure to support local business by seeking out a source of local tree fruits, as well.