The greenest restaurant in the world is a school cafeteria

muse school children

Most of us remember high school cafeteria food as unpalatable and not sustainable. Well, not at this California private school.

The MUSE School's cafeteria is currently the greenest restaurant in the world, according to the Green Restaurant Association. The association's goal is to create an environmentally-friendly restaurant industry by encouraging restaurants to become certified under their GreenPoints program.

Currently, the MUSE School has implemented 49 environmental steps, per the association's data, and quickly became a 4-star certified green restaurant after earning more GreenPoints than any restaurant in the world. You can view how other restaurants are doing here.

chart muse schoolGreen Restaurant Association/via

“MUSE School’s Kitchen has just pushed the edge of sustainability even further from vision to reality,” Michael Oshman, CEO and Founder of the Green Restaurant Association said in a news release. “I applaud MUSE’s leadership in providing a successful foodservice operation that is in concert with the oft-used word 'Sustainability.'"

Founded in 2006, MUSE School has led impressive sustainability efforts to keep the school green and teach its students how to live consciously.

Director James Cameron — his wife Suzy Cameron owns the school — donated solar panels that double as works of art in 2015. Five Sun Flowers were installed on the school grounds and they consist of fourteen 68” by 44.5″ petals attached to a sturdy 16’4″ mast. They stand up to 33′ tall and 28.5′ in diameter and move with the path of the sun. The school is now 100 percent solar — appliances, AC unit and lights are all powered by these "sunflowers."

sunflower muse school© Brandon Hickman/MUSE School CA

Another initiative that helped earn that top spot is their change to a plant-based menu. Over an 18-month period, the school gradually replaced their animal-based cafeteria menu items with plant-based items while educating the students about the environmental benefits of a plant-based diet. A 2015 study determined that a vegan diet is best at reducing the risk of heart disease in children. Yes, that means no cheese, eggs, chicken, beef or fish.

The school's other green accomplishments include, on-site food production, full-scale recycling program, composting, LED lighting, recycled and reusable products, 0.5 gallon-per-minute faucet aerators and less toxic cleaning products.

Tags: Food Safety | Green Building | Vegan

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