<a href="http://www.greenlifestylemag.com.au/blogs/julie#">Green challenges</a>

Green challenges

Thinking global and acting local, Julie Grundy takes on any challenge we throw at her.

Sharing the wealth

Hands holding grains

Credit: iStockphoto

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One of the problems with buying in bulk is that even with non-perishable goods, you can still end up with far more than you could realistically use. It's a good deal, and good for the environment, but sometimes that's not quite enough incentive to stash vast quantities of products.

The solution to this is to get a group together and share the goods. For example, if you see a great deal on bulk meat that's just the type your family likes, but you don't have enough room in your freezer for all of it, maybe partner up with a brother or sister or friend who's got similar needs and divide the package between you.

People sometimes do this when they belong to a really generous CSA group too. Community Supported Agriculture groups give you a large amount of fresh fruit and veg each week, but there's only so much rockmelon you can eat in a week! So people partner up with their neighbours or workmates to share everything before it spoils.

But it works for non-food items too - laundry and cleaning items can be decanted into smaller containers to be parceled out amongst a group of people. If you're a member at one of the warehouse retailers, you could even take turns with people in your little group to make the trek out and do the bulk shopping.

I particularly like this idea because it helps to build that kind of community spirit that's one of the best parts of going green. Sharing the bounty in good times helps create the bonds that we need when things get rough.

So ask your family, your friends, your workmates, your neighbours - would they be interested in going halves with you in some bulk produce? You never know who'll be interested until you ask them about it.