A Funding-promo for large back-pack Puppets made from used styrofoam lunch trays, to parade the NYC streets as a visual metaphor, heightening public awareness of the 3 Billion styrofoam trays used in NYC schools over the past 20 years.

Leading a team of multi-generational artists and advocates, artist/mom Debby Lee Cohen, is bridging her experience as a giant puppet designer for parades and theater with her unstoppable passion to rid NYC school cafeterias of styrofoam! The Cafeteria Culture (CafCu) Team is constructing back-pack and pole puppets made of used-styrofoam trays and parading them on the streets of NYC and at the Green Festival NY on Earth Day 2012.

NYC public schools throw away 850,000 landfill busting styrofoam trays per day (except for Tuesdays), well over 3 billion since the 1990s. These petroleum based styrofoam trays are composed of the chemicals benzene and styrene (see ABC news clip about styrene's classification), especially threatening the health of low income students, who eat hot food directly off of styrofoam on a regular basis.

NYC exports school garbage to out of state incinerators and landfills as far away as Ohio. Innovations in cutting school food waste and piloting alternatives to these toxic, non-recyclable, single-use trays are urgently needed to reduce environmental toxins, greenhouse gas emissions, and the rising cost of NYC’s waste disposal. Through sheer scale and purchasing power, NYC's School Food program can influence national waste reduction trends in manufacturing and government, while also shifting societal habits for economic and ecological benefits.

for more info: cafeteriaculture.org

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