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May Challenge – Reduce Food Packaging

Home Forums OVER THE BACK FENCE Sustainability Challenges May Challenge – Reduce Food Packaging

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    shadowdancer wrote:

    oooh might have to go google! re-useable sandwhich bags. 😀 Thanks debby-lee

    Sorry I got around to looking for it.

    Yeah woolies have little sandwich sized plastic containers now too. That smash brand I think. I flogged one from my mum 😛


    Our chook bags are used to store collected kindling for the fire in throughout summer/spring/autumn – well, you know, whenever we find stuff that’s dry enough to use as kindling.

    Other than that – the challenge is a good one!

    I already use cloth bags (or no bags if I forget to take them) for the fruit n veg. Buying without packaging when it comes to meat is another thing entirely. I don’t buy meat in bulk anymore as i don’t have enough room in the freezer or enough time to can it. so I’ve been buying the little pre-packed things from the stupidmarket when they mark them down. I know it’s not good for the enivronment – but something has to give around here and unfortunately the trade-off between time, money and space is one thing I’m really struggling with.


    Great to see so many aboard this challenge.

    Free range chooks can be had at some markets and some butchers – you could try making some phone calls Michelle, or ask your butcher to get some in for you.

    This reminded me that often smaller shops (especially at which you are a regular customer), will often get special orders. My local bucher doesn’t stock certain things, but will get them in on request, for example. And we often take Qld mangoes (in season) when we visit our southern relatives, so we ask the local fruit shop to get some green mangoes for us to travel with (they ripen anyway and survive the trip better). So you may find that your local shops have access to items that they don’t generally stock. You might have to cut a deal (like buying a larger amount) or pay in advance but it is worth a try.

    Also – this is a challenge – the idea is to get you to rethink a few things, so don’t beat yourself up if you have to choose more packaging to suit your ethics of also choosing free-range, like Ali said, sometimes something has got to give!


    Our chicken is produced on site… 4 roosters to get knocked on the head in the next few weeks…

    Any excess vegies we need to buy … I use the Onya weigh bags… made by a locally owned business.

    Bulk produce stores around Freo… Manna wholefoods and Precious Organics… I re-use brown paper bags over and over, and transport goods home (by bicycle), in calico and netting bags, or old boxes (which are composted.)

    Try and make as much from scratch… as possible… to reduce packaging and ensure whole food goodness. Made bake beans today for kids… dried cannelloni beans, shallots, garlic, tomatoes, basil, kale and chives…sweetened with a little apple juice concentrate… The apple juice concentrate was the only ingredient that came in packaging… a glass jar which will be re-used and filled with jam/chutney etc.

    Most of our meals are like this.

    My challenge is to try and make pasta… cause that’s the biggest package thing we have.


    Making things from scratch is probably the best way to save on packaging. :tup:

    I like ordering from Santos Foods – they package dry goods in paper bags and you can buy in amounts from 1kg to 20kg. They deliver, which saves me going to special shops to find the things they sell.

    If you are in Brisbane, you might like to try bulk beef and lamb from: You have to buy in bulk but the environmental cost is low, and the $$ cost is very reasonable. We use meat sparingly, so these amounts last us quite a while.


    Made pasta last night with kids yippee!

    Wholemeal spelt fettucini.

    Kids helped need it and wind the pasta thingo ….

    Twas a family effort and so much fun. Should have seen them hopping into their home made creation at dinnertime.

    Bowls were emptied in no time! 😀


    Yup – I’m in on this one too.



    Oh dear Erthgirl – I made a mistake:o



    I usually buy my meat in bulk straight from the abbatoirs, I have to cut up and package it myself, saves heaps of money and the packaging is so much less if I had bought it straight from the supermarket. The times when I do have to buy from the supermarket, the black trays are recycled under pot plants in the hothouse for drip trays. Im in on this one, I grow most of our vegies, which I freeze, store or preserve, have planted heaps of fruit trees, I compost, recycle, try to cook fresh food, not to much packet stuff. My challenge is to see if I can get my bin down to being put out only once every 3-4 weeks, currently gets put out weekly. We have a family of six, so we have alot of waste which Im sure we can all cut down on.


    Im on this one too, my last shop was at the local green grocer only for fruit & veg using my green bags & Im happy to keep it up indefinately. Dunno how dh & dd’s are gonna go when they realise that some of their favorites are no longer on the shopping list.:lol:

    At least we’ll all be alot healthier eating the kinda food I can buy this way


    marigold wrote:

    Oh dear Erthgirl – I made a mistake:o


    No you didn’t Marigold!! We made the pasta with a little attachment thingo on this plastic mincer thing that my MIL got us from the op shop. And to be honest, it wasn’t much chop.

    The pasta machine you gave me is a ridgy didge fan-bloody-tastic thing that will enable me to make sheets of pasta (which I couldn’t do with our little mincer attachment… therefore I’m able to make all sorts of stuff like lasagna, ravioli, tortellini… the list is endless.

    I’m so happy with my swaparoonee gift you got me… and it will be put to good use, I can promise you that. :hug::kiss1::kiss::hug:


    D’ya mean you got it already? WOW! It took two and a half weeks to send a little parcel from here to Bowen – and that’s not even interstate:o

    Err Umm. I just found the instruction booklet yesterday – on the table I packed the parcel on:confused:

    I’ll post it tomorrow:shy:


    How are we going with this one?

    Great to see people making their own pasta! We don’t eat heaps of pasta but it is something I experimented with in the past. Homemade lasagne from your own pasta is just delicious!:tup:

    Any challenges? Any dramas?

    We have had a big drama with it all this past two weeks. I have been extremely busy with several things, including work. I find myself leaning towards a quick fix of buying convenience from the shops, which would mean more packaging.

    Taking the less packaged route involves more planning. So last week I made a bigger batch of hommous and some cheese for snacks and tonight I have made three dinners in one hit, hoping that the next three nights (and lunches too) are covered – a curry, some chicken legs and a soup base. All I have to do is pick some fresh greens to add in and we will be ready.

    To be fair on myself, I have suspended making my own bread and bought a few loaves at the local organic market, sliced them and froze them. They came packaged in brown paper bags which can be composted when we are done with them. Breadmaking just didn’t fit into this weeks schedule but I think this is the best way around it.

    On the plus side – the garden is in full swing so we don’t need to buy much there. We are even getting lots of citrus and other fruit. And I just ordered some more bulk supplies from Santos – they deliver most dry goods in brown paper bags, so very easy to compost or reuse.

    Anyone else having a challenge?


    Has anyone noticed that shops will always go for a plastic bag even when you say ‘no bag please’. Some checkout people will even give dirty looks, especially if they ignored or forgot your request and have to take the item/s out of the bag.

    Am finding markets great for reducing bags.

    The other thing is that I’m now using re-usable plastic containers instead of glad wrap for storing left overs. Trying to stick to buying Austalian made brands, but the only brand I know has a limited range. Have to admit to asking my colleagues for their chinese takeaway containers when they throw them out at work :uhoh:


    I know a lady in Many who mainly shops at food co-op but if she goes to the supermarket brings her own containers and with things that have packaging eg pasta she empties them in after purchasing and gives them back the wrappers. She says she doesn’t want the packaging, why should she have to take it home.

    lngferretter wrote:

    Doing lots already but need to do more!!

    I always unpack the product at the store and tell them to keep the packaging as it is excess to requirements… I feel like I’ve done something.:tup:

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