Who Are We?
Okay, first, we should probably tell you who we are! We are Ashley & Georgia and we started UnchartedBakers as a way to share our passion of Baking (and the occasional ramble about our latest travel adventure!) with you! We get so excited about baking it should probably be embarrassing. In a crowd, if we even here a whisper of baking or see some kind of cookie, you can bet we’re going to be like blood hounds, sniffing it out until we find said cookie. Besides being huge baking nerds, we’re actually just huge nerds in general. If we aren’t baking, you can probably find us with our nose in a book or with our faces glued to the TV as we binge watch our latest favorite show.
Okay, we should probably go ahead and answer the only question you actually want answered: Are we twins? Yes, we are! No, we’re not identical. Georgia is 28 minutes older than Ashley. And we honestly can’t explain what it’s like to be twin, as we’ve always been twins and therefore have no idea what it’s like to not be a twin. Alright, I think thats enough about us though! Let’s get to what really matters!
What is Sustainability?
Before we get into any of our recipes or anything, lets talk about what sustainability actually means and why it’s important! In short, it basically just means producing and consuming in ways that don’t harm the environment and can be used in the long-term. This could be as small as using a reusable water bottle, so that plastic ones don’t end up in the oceans. It could be as big as not over exploiting farm land and resources. The people of the world (and especially in developed countries) tend to use more resources than they have produced. Sustainability is the practice of producing what we want and need, but still making sure that the product and land is still there for future generations.
Not only do we focus on sustainability, but also eco-friendly. Products and processes that are also nice to the environment and continue to protect it. Eco-friendly is also a part of sustainability. We need to protect the earth in order to keep using it!
Why Is It Important to Us?
In the last couple of years, we have been able to travel more. To both cities and national parks. Each time we travel, we fall a little more in love with the earth- it’s diversity and beauty- and also with the people in it. As we traveled (especially in the forests, trails, and outdoor places we visited) we noticed that there was always a story about how it had changed- and not always for the better- and how people are trying to reverse the change. People are almost always the cause. So, our dive into attempting to be more sustainable was a slow descent, but now we are trying to commit to being as sustainable and eco-friendly as we possibly can. We want future generations to be able to enjoy chocolate (can you imagine a world with out it? we sure can’t!), apples, vanilla, forests, mountains, and the ocean. And we want the world to be a better, cleaner place, and that starts with us.
How Do We DO It?
We begin by using King Arthur Flour. Why? For many reasons! The main two reasons we do is because they are 100% employee owned and they are continuing to work towards being more sustainably produced. Our last reason is that they are active in the community. Examples include encouraging their employees to volunteer by giving them 40 hours of paid volunteer time a year, donating money to the community, and helping Feed America through their Bake for Good program and donating a meal for every Essential Goodness baking mix they sell.
Next, we use local eggs. Why buy your eggs locally? For one, it helps your local economy. By purchasing from local farmers (not just eggs but other fruits and veggies too!) you’re putting your money back into where you live, helping the economy to get better and stronger! Buying local also helps to reduce what’s called “food miles”. As the name would suggest, this is basically just how far your food has to travel to get to you. By reducing the miles your eggs have to travel (or any food, really!) you’re reducing the fossil fuels and pollution being emitted. Where can you buy local eggs? Well it’s pretty easy! You can typically find them at farmers markets or just visit your local farmer! We live near a small farm that sells eggs which we pass almost every day (talk about local!).
Florida Crystals Sugar is our choice when it comes to the sugar we put in our baked goods! Their sugar is grown in Florida and is sustainably produced as well. Not only is their sugar sustainably grown, but they also have a renewable energy facility ( it uses clean energy, reducing the need for fossil fuels). They also try to make an impact in their community. They provide support to New Hope Charities and Take Stock in Children. You can read more about how they help the community on their website.
For powdered sugar we use Wholesome powdered sugar. Wholesome sugars are Fair-trade and are sustainably grown without herbicides or pesticides.
We use Nestle Toll House cocoa powder and chocolate chips in all of our baking. Their Nestle Cocoa Plan helps to improve their farming and farmers lives. They work to prevent child labor where they source their cocoa, have a school building program, help provide water and sanitation and education about each, and work towards gender equality. And not only do they do that, but they are working towards sustainable cocoa production.
Madéasse is our preferred brand of vanilla. They are direct trade certified. This means that they work directly with the farmers in Madagascar, where the vanilla is made, and it helps to improve the farmers income.