Here are five ideas to help you begin planning a more environmentally friendly cafeteria:
It might be difficult for school nutrition experts in the United States to find time to implement green lunchroom initiatives while still preparing and serving healthy school meals to 30 million pupils every school day.
Most school lunches, along with their accompanying plastic utensils, Styrofoam trays, and other debris, are thrown away every day. Schools in the United States have wasted billions of dollars over the past few decades due to wasted food.
When it comes to teaching the next generation about the need of protecting the planet, kindergarten through high school classrooms play a pivotal role.
It\’s time to start planning how to revamp your school cafeteria into a greener, more eco-friendly space. To help you get going, here are five suggestions.
1. Provide Your Employees with Lunches That Are Friendly to the Environment:
The first step toward sustainability is represented by the food that you offer. The carbon footprint left by processed foods and meats sold at low prices is through the roof. When it is in your power to do so, switch them out for fresh options. The consumption of organic foods is held in very high esteem.
Through the National Farm to School Network, you can get in touch with farmers in your area to inquire about obtaining regional produce for your cafeteria.
2. Discourage the use of throwaways and find new purposes for them:
Think about the number of children who bring their lunch to school in styrofoam trays and use plastic cutlery every day. That adds up to a significant amount of rubbish made of plastic each day.
After just one day of switching from disposable plates and cutlery to reusable plates and utensils, you will notice a significant reduction in the amount of trash you generate. Where is the dishwashing machine? Don\’t worry; there are a lot of different options to choose from that will break down in a landfill.
The practice of upcycling is yet another opportunity to exercise your creative faculties while having fun. Milk cartons have multiple uses, including planting your own food and using them in the classroom for arts and crafts.
3. Refrain from using paper:
Do pupils at your school receive printed menus on a weekly or monthly basis?
The price of all of that paper adds up really rapidly. Consider going paperless by publishing the menus online, where both students and parents will be able to access them whenever it is most convenient for them.
Changing over to digital menu boards is yet another step that can be taken to reduce the cafeteria\’s impact on the environment. Digital menus are better for the environment than paper menus because they eliminate the need for paper menus, and they encourage students who are proficient in technology to participate in the activities.
4. Establish a Farm in the Schoolyard:
Food that is cultivated in the immediate area can be obtained in the least damaging way possible to the environment. You may make use of this in order to reduce the amount of processed foods that are offered for lunch.
In addition, having students take part in the cultivation of school gardens is an excellent method to instruct young people with regard to issues of sustainability and the provenance of the food they eat. Students collaborate more easily with one another in an outside setting like a school garden.
Composting is an excellent method for preserving the fertility of your garden and reducing your negative influence on the environment through the recycling of food leftovers. Making an investment in compost bins is a straightforward and cost-effective approach to recycling the food scraps from your meal. Composting is something that can be done anywhere, not only in gardens.
5. Your Community While Reducing the Amount of Food Waste:
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) suggests that schools donate any food that is not sold to charitable groups if doing so does not violate any local laws. It is preferable not to throw away healthy food that has been served at meals because it can be given to local food banks instead of being wasted.
Eating at a table shared by multiple people can significantly cut down on waste. Those in need could benefit from unopened milk cartons and other packaged meals that children are unlikely to ingest if they are left on the table.
Make Your Lunchroom More Eco-Friendly Right This Minute:
Allowing students to make their own choices regarding how garbage is managed can be beneficial to both the school and the students.
When you incorporate activities such as food donations, share tables, a school garden, recycling, and composting into your school\’s nutrition program, your students will have the opportunity to learn how to be exceptional community members in addition to being ecologically responsible.