Saturday, April 23, 2011

It's Earth Day!!!


I LOVE Earth Day. I think it totally rocks. Being the Earth Chick that I am, this is a day I love to celebrate. A few years back I had an Earth Day party and went all out - I had goody bags (reusable bags from a couple of local grocery stores with an Earth Day booklet inside that I created and put together), we played outside all day, and I made an Earth cake - no joke.

[I intended to include a couple of pictures of the cake BUT I seem to have moved them to my external hard drive. Since I am currently out of town, and therefore away from my external hard drive, I will update this post with pictures when I return]

I purposely chose chocolate cake to represent the dirt/earth and dyed the frosting blue and green. I even filled it with a mixture of frozen cool-whip and strawberries to represent the lava. I'm just good like that ;)

The year after I was one of the co-chairs for my company's Earth Day festivities. We had a farmers' market on site, a lunchtime bike ride through a nearby park, a bunch of renewable energy technology demonstrations, and our fleet of hybrid and plug in vehicles was showcased - it was the place to be that day.

This year was a bit more low key - or at least today was. Next week, however, there will be another Earth Day festival at work and I am completely pumped for that. I have already heard of a few vendors that will be there and I can't wait to check out all their goodies.

Even though I didn't do anything out of the ordinary today, there were a couple of press-worthy events taking place that I read about and had to share:

Albany prepares to become one of the first US cities to build an electric car infrastructure. This is HUGE, not only for the future of electric vehicles but for the economy of New York as a whole. There are three articles that all talk about this but each gives a few details not found in the others. They can be found here, here and here.

For the downstate portion of New York:
New York City looking to bring the heat with solar panels on top of landfills (from the NY Daily News website)
Dramatically Cleaner Air Within Reach For New York City (from the Environmental Defense Fund's Energy Exchange blog)
These two kind of talk about the same thing but I thought it was worth sharing them both.

Now to leave on a fun note, I have heard "Green"-minded people sometimes referred to as granola crunchers. I'm not entirely sure where the term comes from but in the name of Earth Day and fellow granola crunchers out there I leave you with a recipe for my favorite granola recipe. :)

Cherry, Almond and Cinnamon Granola
4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2 cups sweetened, shredded coconut
2 cups sliced almonds
1 1/2 cups dried cherries, chopped
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup good honey
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Toss the oats, coconut, almonds, and cherries together in a large bowl. Pour the vegetable oil and honey over the oat mixture. Add the cinnamon, and stir with a wooden spoon until all the oats and nuts are coated with the liquids. Pour onto a sheet pan (cookie sheet). Bake, stirring occasionally with a spatula, until the mixture turns a nice, even golden brown. (About 25 to 30 minutes.

Remove the granola from the oven and allow to cool, stirring occasionally. Store the cooled granola in an airtight container.

The fun thing about this recipe is you can really swap in whatever kinds of dried fruit and nuts and spices you like. If you prefer dried blueberries, or a mix of berries, or pineapple, etc. then go for it! You could put in some vanilla or nutmeg. It's a super easy recipe so it is easy to play around with. 

Did you do anything exciting for Earth Day? Do you consider yourself to be a granola cruncher/Earth Chick, etc? Did any press-worthy events happen by you today?

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