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Green challenges

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

Day 2: Lunch dilemmas

Sandwich in paper wrapper

Credit: iStockphoto

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So yesterday was my second day of eating food with as little packaging as possible, as part of our nude food challenge.

I started the day with the same breakfast as I had last week, because I'm way too sleepy in the morning to start introducing variety. Lunch was a bit more of a puzzle, though.

I hadn't brought lunch from home, so I headed out to a nearby deli. I had a few choices:

  • a meat pie in an unrecyclable plastic wrapper
  • lasagna, with plastic cutlery, in one of those takeaway plastic dishes you see everywhere: not recycleable, but reusable
  • a sandwich or roll wrapped in paper and in a paper bag

No prizes for guessing that I passed on the meat pie! I considered the lasagna, because reusable comes before recyclable in the 3 R's of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. But then I'd have to wash it out and take it home, and I wouldn't actually use the cutlery and container again, since I've got plenty at home.

So I got a salad sandwich. I had to throw out the paper wrapper, because the salad had made it soggy, but folded up the paper bag and put it in my handbag. It went into my own recycling bin at home. Note to self: talk with the facilities guy about getting some kind of recycling bin at work - we have one for printer paper but not for general waste. Overall, more difficult to avoid wrappings when I'm not making the meal.

Dinner was easy again: I made minestrone from scratch. The total packaging involved was two tags on the leeks (unrecyclable), a tin for tomatoes (into the recycling bin) and a box for the stock, which had one of those "please recycle" symbols but doesn't meet my council's guidelines.

There would have been another plastic wrapper, but just for this week I skipped the organic cabbage and went with the standard stuff. My supermarket wraps all the organic stuff in plastic, I assume to distinguish it from the normal produce. I wish they wouldn't, but I wasn't able to get to a local vegie market this weekend, so them's the breaks I suppose.

How are you all doing with the challenge? Any problems, or has it been smooth sailing for you?