Indoor picnic spots in Melbourne

Hi there! I drafted this post a while ago when the weather in Melbourne was bad. Now the sun’s come out, you might find you need an air-conditioned picnic on those 40 degree days.

OK, so here’s what I’ve been thinking. Let’s say you’re in the CBD and it’s raining. You’ve packed a delicious lunch. What do you do now? You could bust out your waterproof pants and parka while water droplets soak into your sandwich. Or, if you’re me, you could go to a café and buy a coffee for $4 (right now that’s half my fruit and veg budget for the week.) After the coffee, maybe you’re still feeling hungry. Should you stay at the cafe, eating into your ‘rainy day’ money, literally, or should you move on in the bad weather?

Your bank account tells you splashing the cash on solo dining might not be the smartest move. But it’s still raining. Where can you eat your sandwich?

Well, since you asked, I made you this map. These are under-cover places where, with a bit of luck, you can hide out and eat your lunch in peace.  


Now, some food courts are fancy and they might not take kindly to indoor picnics, but I reckon I’ve found a few where you can get away with nomming on a packed lunch and maybe even breaking out the old thermos. These are all pretty casual venues so I don’t think you’d get any sideways glances unless you spread out a full picnic rug and start popping champagne. Let me invite you to an indoor picnic. Give it a try.



Such rubbish. Wow.

I just did a household rubbish audit (ew, gross). This is how much rubbish the two of us have generated for the past two weeks, after I filtered out the recyclables and the compost.


So many paper packages have plastic lining, making them hard to recycle

Basically, the big ticket items this week are:

  • “Paper” packaging that is lined with plastic e.g. the coffee bag, deli paper, the failed taleggio experiment and individual teabag wrappers and tags.
  • A roached old pillow case that we used for cleaning our bikes, which I then tried to use as a bin liner (now it’s all gross and rolled up inside the paper bag).

I was surprised how much organic material we are still reflexively throwing into landfill: things like breadcrumbs, teabags, paper bags, eggshells and orange peels all mysteriously ended up in our rubbish instead of feeding the bokashi monster. (We have a bokashi bin in the kitchen of our third floor apartment. Every couple of weeks, we empty it into the compost bin we installed on a patch of dirt in our car park downstairs.)

We were also throwing out a large amount of soft plastics, like cereal packets. These can be recycled through REDcycle.

All up, we have generated about 150 g of landfill per person in the last two weeks (that stupid pillow case is taking up most of the weight). We’ll see if we can beat that next time!




Plastic-free milk? (Week 2)

bottle-841433_1920This week, I finally made it to La Latteria in Carlton. I parked my cyclocross bike out the front and stepped blithely over the threshold, red Ortlieb pannier in hand, ready to buy milk in returnable glass bottles.


As I rocked up to the fridge, full of optimism, I found all the glass bottles were gone. In their place was a sign in shaky capital letters that simply read: ‘milk in glass bottles – no returns’.

So I left. I just turned around and got the hell out of there. I laughed at myself for thinking I lived in a magical land where people would sterilise and re-use milk bottles.

The other person (the one I live with) and I put our heads together to see if we could figure out a solution but it was really tough. We even toyed with powdered milk which you can buy in tins. But the version we found turned out to have a plastic lid anyway. Until someone starts selling milk powder from bulk bins, or milk in returnable glass bottles, it seems reasonable to continue buying recyclable plastic. And I will continue to be sad.

Plastic: 1; Grapefruit: 0