On March 2nd, the YES! teams from Little Falls Community Middle School and Melrose Middle School attended a YES! Winter Workshop entitled ‘Greening Your Cafeteria’. The workshop was held at the new space for the Sprout Food Hub in Little Falls. The teams toured the facilities, learned about the Farm to School Network, and got to see the space that will be used as an indoor farmers market as well as local foods kitchens and processing facilities. It was really great to see the work that is going into supporting our local farmers!
Students then learned all about school recycling options from Doug Lien of Tri-County Solid Waste, and learned about the benefits of switching to bulk milk dispensers from the current model where hundreds of milk cartons are being trashed or recycled in their school cafeterias every day.
The students then put together their own lunch with efforts to make it ‘low waste’. After lunch they weighed the resulting trash, recyclables and compostables. The result was 1.2 pounds of trash, 2.6 pounds of recyclables, and 2.2 pounds of compostables for 31 people (27 students 4 adults). They then compared that to the average school lunch which generates about 0.25 pounds of trash per student. Not bad!
The students took all that they had learned in the day and authored a green cafeteria plan for their respective schools. What a great day!