plastic free actions for
High School Students
Start a #SkipTheStuff campaign
Easy Plastic Free Lunch actions
for every day!
NO PLASTIC ______ DAY!
Simplify the day with a focus on reducing just one kind of single-use plastic packaging, such as a:
- NO PLASTIC STRAW DAY (more ideas for reducing plastic straws ->)
- NO CONDIMENT PACKET DAY - ask your school food manager if they can serve condiments in refillable containers or dispensers.
We suggest always starting with a before survey (or audit).
Example: the steps for a "NO PLASTIC STRAW DAY":
- 1 - Set out a box and sign to collect all the plastic straws used ruing one lunch period or during all school lunch periods.
- 2 - Count the straws and photograph all the straws (lay them out on a dark background).
- 3 - Publicize the number of straws collected on that one day and the date of your NO PLASTIC STRAW DAY"
- 4 - On the day of the initiative, once again collect any plastic straws and photograph
- 5 - Make posters with the 'before" and "after" data and photos
- 6 - Interview students and staff to find out what others suggest to do next to reduce single-use plastics and other packaging.
BRING YOUR OWN ______ DAY!
lead a "TAKE ONLY WHAT YOU NEED Day"/ #SkipTheStuff
-Create a utensil/packet/straw "by request only" action; meet with your principal and school food manager to ask that these plastic items not be given out automatically.
- Make creative signs to encourage plastic waste reduction or use the flyer provided (above) and place near dispensers.
- Ask teachers to remind students just before lunch.
- Start a campaign.
- Make announcements!
- Lead a before count of plastic utensils thrown away on a single day, start your campaign, then do an after count. Compare and publicize results.
PROMOTE A REUSE CULTURE - EVERYDAY!
Ask your food service manager to:
- Offer plastic utensils by request only on days when pizza, burritos, and other hand-held foods are served. Salad bars can be stocked with cut vegetables.
- Serve all condiments and sauces in reusable dispensers or bottles.
- If your meals come packaged with the utensils, ask to try a new method of offering utensils.
- If your utensils and napkins come together in plastic wrap, ask for individual utensils and napkins!
"Thank your kitchen and custodial staff and school cafeteria aides!
- Hang up special "thank you' posters in the cafeteria with staff names.
- Encourage students to say "please" and "thank you" in the food line.
- Make a special "thank you" announcement at the end of the lunch period and invite kitchen and custodial staff to join you!
- Thank kitchen and custodial staff during school assemblies and recognize the work they do for the school community.
Showing gratitude supports positive change-making and builds community! For inspiration, show our video, "School Lunch in Japan- it's not just about eating" (34 million views on YouTube!)
More PLASTIC FREE ACTIONS for school & COmmunity!
How to Drive Change In Your School Cafeteria -
A Guide for High School Students
adapted from the work of Gauri Rastogi, high school senior and CafCu Youth Advocate and intern, based on her years of advocating to eliminate styrofoam trays from her school district in MIchigan.
Share these info briefs with key decision makers