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'Conscious cafeterias' help Indianapolis school reduce waste

An Earth Day event at the Orchard School highlighted some of their efforts to be more resourceful with food.

INDIANAPOLIS — Local schools are making an effort to reduce waste by creating "conscious cafeterias".

An Earth Day event Friday at the Orchard School highlighted some of their efforts.

The Patachou Foundation is working with schools to bring back sustainable "scratch cooking."

The Orchard School started its own garden, teaching kids how to protect the planet and be more resourceful with food.

They've also partnered with local business Ahimsa to replace plastic trays with stainless steel ones to reduce single-use waste.

"We know that our food system is a big source of waste," said Ahimsa founder Dr. Manasa Mantravadi. "And a big source of negative health exposures for our kids, so chemicals in plastics and processed foods, so it's really a great place to start because there are so many things we can actually do to improve both children's health and environmental health."

RELATED: How to take part in cleanups at Indianapolis parks on Earth Day

It's not an idea just catching the attention of adults. Kids at the Orchard School gave the idea a big thumbs up Friday.

"You can just drink out of it and it's stainless steel so you can just rewash it and use it again," said third-grade teacher Mason Asava.

RELATED: Earth Day: Mall of America uses ladybugs on live plants to fight pests

"Instead of doing it independently, let's just do it together, because we really believe teamwork makes the dream work," Mantravadi said. "By doing it together, we can build a better system and inspire both school leaders and our private sector to come together and do this great model for the city that can be repeated in the state, the country and hopefully the globe."

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