Cafeteria Culture

New York, NY

Cafeteria Culture (CafCu) is an environmental education organization working creatively with youth to achieve equitable zero waste, climate-smart school communities, and a plastic free biosphere. Our youth programs merge citizen science and civic action with media and the arts. Students in our programs, overwhelmingly from lower-income communities of color, provide an urgently needed voice to the environmental movement, taking on leadership and advocacy roles to accelerate solutions that address environmental justice and the plastic pollution/climate crises.  

Our award  winning  documentary, Microplastic Madness (2019), screened in 37 countries, is sparking youth-led action for a plastic free future with schools as hubs for change. ( host a screening of Microplastic Madness).

Founded in 2009 as Styrofoam Out of Schools, Cafeteria Culture (CafCu), catalyzed the complete elimination of plastic styrofoam trays from all NYC public schools and nine other large U.S. school districts, resulting in half a billion styrofoam trays diverted from landfills, incinerators and student meals annually. Building upon this victory, we continue to pilot solutions in partnership with New York City students and staff to rid public school cafeterias of all the remaining single-use plastic.

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