<a href="http://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.

Decision time: breakfast packaging

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Yesterday was my first attempt at the nude food challenge: I think I did ok, but there was a lot of scanning of labels, looking for the little recycling triangle logo.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, we're told. It was certainly the most difficult for me, as I stood there sleepily trying to make a decision about packaging types. My options were:

Cold Milo with milk: packaging is one giant steel tin (I drink a lot of Milo, ok?) with paper wrapping, recyclable; plus a plastic milk jug, also recycleable.

Porridge with milk and Australian bush honey: one simple cardboard box, the same plastic milk jug, plus a plastic honey bottle, which turned out to have an extra plastic label on it that has to be removed before the bottle can be recycled. How well do honey bottles rinse out? I don't think I've actually bothered to put them out for collection before.

Toast with Vegemite: plastic wrapper for bread, non-recycleable; plastic container for butter, non-recycleable; glass jar for Vegemite, recycleable, but I've got no idea about the plastic lid.

I was a bit surprised, I thought the toast would be the one with the least packaging. The Milo won because it has the least amount of packaging and all of it was recycleable.

But I think the porridge could be improved by buying the oats in bulk and choosing a different brand of honey. The toast could be improved if I made my own bread, but I'm not willing to change my brand of butter because it's as local as we can get, and doesn't have all sorts of wacky unpronounceable ingredients in it. Do any other butters have recycleable containers, anyway?

The rest of the day was less traumatic: I had leftover pasta in Tupperware for lunch, and a homemade curry for dinner. The curry was mostly from fresh ingredients, so the only containers were a glass jar for the curry paste, a small steel tin for coconut milk, and one of those half-cardboard/half-plastic cartons for stock. The stock carton is the only unrecycleable thing for the whole day!