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Green challenges

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

Nude food on the weekend

Chocolate cake

Credit: iStockphoto

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This week I made my nude food day a Sunday, to try it out on a weekend instead.

Breakfast was porridge with milk and banana (see, I avoided the honey jar that way!), which only involves a cardboard box and a milk jug. Both are recyclable, and the banana skin went in the compost, so no waste there.

Lunch was a Vegemite sandwich, leaving me with a bread bag, a butter container and a recyclable Vegemite jar. Not as good as breakfast, but we buy giant Vegemite jars so we're getting in some bulk product there too.

For dinner I made a casserole using: shin beef from our local butcher, so just one plastic bag instead of styrofoam and clingfilm; tinned tomatoes (steel tins are recyclable); potatoes, carrots, onion and garlic, (no wrappers at all there - we don't even use the plastic bags in the shops); a glass of wine (with a recyclable bottle); and rosemary from the garden (which avoids the plastic-wrapped stuff from the shops).

I followed this up by making a chocolate cake. Flour, sugar and bicarb soda all have cardboard and paper wrappers that will be recycled when we finish the packets. Local free-range eggs have a carton that will go in our compost when we finish the dozen. The unsalted butter had a weird plastic-ish wrapper that ended up in the bin. The Green & Black's chocolate didn't have a foil wrapper, just a paper one, so that went into the recycling as well.

So I felt pretty good about the day: my total amount of packaging going into the bin was one plastic bag from the butcher, and a butter wrapper. Later on there'll be the regular butter container and the bread bag in the bin too. I put a steel tin and a chocolate wrapper in the recycling, with another bunch of cardboard boxes, paper bags and plastic bottles to go in there too when some of our bulk purchases run out. Plus our compost got some good green (banana skin) and brown (egg-carton) materials.

Given that I made an extra cake on top of what I normally eat, I think this is a good result. I still feel a bit weird about recycling so much, I'd like to avoid a bit more of that in the future. Nude food is a challenge, but I'm finding it satisfying to try.