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

Green challenges

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

New challenge: nude food

Apples on a tray, wrapped in plastic

Credit: iStockphoto

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We've got an interesting new challenge this month: nude food! Pick a day each week to eat whatever you like, as long as it's packaging-free.

I reckon this will be a tough challenge - the more you think about it, the more you realise how much we wrap things up in plastic and cardboard and glass. Obviously, some of it is necessary. I don't fancy trying to bring milk home without packaging! But then again, do my tomatoes really need a styrofoam tray and cling wrap?

So our tactics will have to start before the actual day, beginning with our shopping choices. Obviously fresh fruit and veg should be bought loose. I'll be using one of our green bags to keep mushrooms from rolling all over my trolley.

Our local butcher uses much less packaging than the supermarket, so I'll be paying him a visit too. Bulk buying staples like rice, oats, or beans could really help cut back on the individual wrappings.

I was hoping to be able to avoid some packaging by eating from my own vegie patch, but a quick peek just now reveals that it's still looking very sprout-like out there. Lots of tiny green leaves, no real produce yet. Maybe a trip to the farmers' market is in order.

I'm also thinking that, for the packaging I can't avoid, reuseable and recyclable is much better than the usual disposable stuff. That means glass and cardboard and steel, and only plastics if they'll actually get picked up by our council recycling.

And the fewer plastic bags I use, the better! I've got the usual collection of Tupperware containers for lunches and storing leftovers.

How about you? What are your plans for the nude food challenge? Let's see if we can reduce our landfill waste and energy consumption by getting rid of unnecessary extra packaging.