Youth media, arts + action for Trash Free Waters
Cafeteria Culture empowers youth with
the knowledge & tools to design and pilot
that have a global impact
to reduce plastics in our waterways.
Our students debate, ask questions, collect data, and tell their own powerful stories about how local plastic street litter becomes global toxic marine pollution, threatenng our oceans and marine wildlife.
Watch "#SaveOurOcean - Your Litter is Killing Marine Life" on Vimeo ->
(edited by a 7th grade student from MS246 Walt Whitman, Brooklyn, NY)
Watch LITTER MONSTERS on Vimeo here -> (made by 5th grade students from PS34 Franklin D. Roosevelt, Manhattan, NY)
Watch THE FLAWS OF STRAWS on Vimeo here -> (made by 8th grade student from MS246 Walt Whitman, Brooklyn, NY)
Watch "East Flatbush Litter #SaveACritter" on Vimeo -> (made by 8th grade student from MS246 Walt Whitman, Brooklyn, NY))
, "I did look at the Cafeteria Culture videos. The cool thing about it is that the kids in the video look like the kids that we are bringing today. The faces are familiar. If they see kids like them doing something good, hopefully it gives them more of a push to come out and do the same good as the kids they see in the video.The videos ultimately made another connection between what we are doing in the class and what we are doing out here [North Channel Beach]." Nneka Wallace, Science Teacher, Victory Collegiate High School, Brooklyn, NY, from interview at Jamaica Bay while conducting a beach litter survey with her students
On rainy days, the increase of storm waster runnoff forces street litter in many of our NYC neighborhoods (and over 700 other US municipalities) to flow into our sewer systems, where it mxes with our sewage, and then flows drectly out to our local waterways and beyond.
These TRASH FREE WATERS videos have been cretaed by by 8th grade students from MS246 K Walt Whitman in East Flatbush, Brooklyn and PS/MS34 M 5th graders.
The curriculum is a part of Cafeteria Culture’s interdisciplinary environmental education, YOUTH ARTS + MEDIA forTRASH FREE WATERS School Program (2016), generously funded by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 2, Sustainable Materials Management Section, CASD.
Subscribe to our YouTube channel.
Don't miss the next new video
Watch "A message from 8th grade filmmakers about marine pollution"
on Vimeo -> (co-created with 8th grade student from MS246 Walt Whitman, Brooklyn, NY)
A Trash Free Waters (TFW) campaign,
"Pick Up Litter #SaveACritter"
These video shorts were co-created with 8th grade students from MS 246 Walt Whitman in East Flatbush, Brooklyn. The curriculum is part of Cafeteria Culture's "Youth ARTS+MEDIA for Trash Free Waters" school program, generously funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 2.
Watch "The Dark Beauty of the Beads - #beadfree" on Vimeo -> (made by 8th grade student from MS246 Walt Whitman, Brooklyn, NY)
Watch "The Journey of Plastic Litter" on Vimeo -> (made by 8th grade student from MS246 Walt Whitman, Brooklyn, NY)
See what PS34's 5th grade green leaders from Cafeteria Culture's ARTS+MEDIA for Climate Action program are doing to reduce NYC's plastic bag pollution! Students studied the details of NYC's single-use carryout bag bill, debated the bill, and took ACTION for a greener, cleaner NYC and plastic free oceans. Watch "5th Grade Change-makers Take Action..." on Vimeo ->
See more here --> about youth-led action on NYC's bag bill and how CafCu students helped to get this landmark bill passed!
NEST+m third grade students learned all about how street litter can become dangerous marine pollution. The participated in Socratic discussions on the NYC polystyrene (Styrofoam) ban bill and the NYC single-use carry-out bag bill.
Students went to City Hall and stood by City Council Members, speaking to the press about why the NYC bag fee bill should be passed.
- New Yorkers use and discard 10 billion single-use carryout bags per year!
- In New York City, on rainy days or after snowstorms, large amounts of water can cause plastic street litter to wash into our sewer systems and out to our local waterways, eventually ending up in the ocean.
- Plastic bags, utensils, and straws are the most common debris (litter) items found during beach cleanups.
- About 80% of plastics found in the oceans comes from land based sources. Only 20% originates from ocean based sources, such as fishing vessels.
- Many marine animals, birds, and fish consume plastic, either because they mistake it for food or ingest it accidentally.
- Marine plastic pollution has impacted at least 267 species worldwide, including 86% of all sea turtle species, 44% of all seabird species and 43% of all marine mammal species. The impacts include fatalities (death) as a result of ingestion (eating), starvation, suffocation, infection, drowning, and entanglement.
- Every minute, the equivalent of one truck load of garbage is dumped into the oceans worldwide. If no action is taken, this is expected to increase to two garbage track loads per minute by 2030 and four truck loads per minute by 2050.
- Plastic litter does not biodegrade (or break down into organic material). Instead, it breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces, due to sunlight and physical factors (like waves), becoming microplastics.
- NYC spends $12.5 MILLION a year just to send 91,000 tons of thrown away plastic bags to landfills and incinerators every year!
Wondering where all this plastic pollution comes from and where it goes?
(infographic from Eunomia, UK)
Youth Citizen Science
NEST+M third grade students conduct
street litter survey of their school block!
Youth ARTS+MEDIA for Trash Free Waters
More video shorts:
watch, get inspired and take action! ->
See youth and community-led action on NYC's styrofoam ban here ->
Want to learn more about getting styrofoam out of your school?->
Giant Data Puppets - student messaging about styrofoam