When Grades of Green partners with sports teams, you know it will have an eco-twist! Not only did Grades of Green guests enjoy the Los Angeles Kings versus St. Louis Blues hockey game on Sunday, but our group was able to take an exclusive behind the scenes eco-tour thanks to our partners at the Kings Care Foundation. Our group met with the Staples Center Sustainability Manager and learned all about the waste reduction efforts that take place daily in this 950,000 square foot venue. For example, e-waste collected is up-cycled and reused, and food waste from the kitchens is collected to be composted. Grades of Green guests were inspired to learn all that the Staples Center does to reduce the venue’s environmental footprint, and were reminded how important it is for venue visitors to sort their waste properly into the recycling containers.

Waste reduction is on our minds after this awesome tour, especially as our Waste Campaign kicks off this month! To follow the students around the world who are participating in the Waste Campaign, find us on Facebook and Instagram @gradesofgreen.

Grades of Green’s Co-Executive Director, Allie Bussjaeger, is a featured alumni at California State University, Long Beach. Allie received her bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in environmental science and policy from the university in 2011. To read more about Allie’s time at CSULB and how it brought her to Grades of Green, click here.

Grades of Green is excited to introduce our not one, but two Executive Directors! After being a part of the Grades of Green Team for over 15 collective years, Emily Gee-Berger and Allie Bussjaeger are stepping into the Co-Executive Director role. Formerly Grades of Green interns, coordinators, managers, and most recently the Co-Directors of Programs, Emily and Allie were honored to be selected for the Co-Executive Director position. Recently featured as one of VoyageLA’s Most Inspiring Stories, Emily and Allie are excited for this opportunity to continue fulfilling Grades of Green’s mission of inspiring and empowering students to care for the environment. In addition to their hands-on experience, Allie received her M.A. in Non-Profit Management and earned a Fundraising Certificate and Emily holds an M.A. in Public Relations and an MBA Certificate. Emily and Allie look forward to connecting with the community and serving Grades of Green students with the support of the amazing staff, board and volunteers.

Grades of Green is grateful to work with  amazing organizations who care about the environment. Our friends at LAcarGUY and Subaru Pacific have believed in us from the very beginning! From supporting the Los Angeles Trash Free Lunch Challenge to our No Idle Zone Activity, they have always gone above and beyond for Grades of Green. During a recent visit to the LEED Certified Subaru Pacific dealership, we were thrilled to see their featured partners wall, which included Grades of Green. Thanks to Subaru, Subaru Pacific and LAcarGUY for making a positive impact in the world through the Subaru Love Promise Community Commitment. Grades of Green is honored to partner with you!

Interested in seeing the dealership yourself? Save the date for our Youth Corps Eco-Leadership program celebration day on May 20th, 2018. This eco-afternoon will include music, lunch, and a festival to learn about our Youth Corps eco-leaders and the Grades of Green Activities they have implemented this year.

Grades of Green is partnering with our friends at Funkins to create a custom Grades of Green Funkin product; a stylish, eco-friendly, cloth napkin! We are looking for five eco-tips to feature on the napkin, one for each of Grades of Green’s Activity categories. If you have a helpful eco-tip you’d like to share that focuses on energy, water, waste, toxins or air quality, we want to hear it.

To participate in the contest, simply email us at info@gradesofgreen.org with your first name, eco-tip, and the state or country you are from. Winners will be gifted five Grades of Green branded Funkins napkins!

Contest rules: Must be 13+ years of age to participate. Contest ends January 26th, 2018. A total of five eco-tips will be selected to appear on the custom Funkins napkin. Winners will be notified by March 25th, 2018. By submitting an eco-tip, the participant grants full usage rights and privileges of submitted eco-tip to Grades of Green and Funkins.

Grades of Green has expanded and grown so much since it’s inception in 2009, and Co-Directors of Programs, Emily Gee Berger and Allie Bussjaeger, have been honored to be part of it all since the beginning! Allie and Emily were interviewed and featured in an article in Voyagela.com. Voyage LA focuses on highlighting the various stories in each unique neighborhood in Los Angeles, California. The article talks about Emily and Allie’s history with Grades of Green, and what makes the nonprofit so special. To check out the article, click here.

Saint Anthony school in Long Beach, California kicked off their Grades of Green program with a huge splash thanks to the Kings Care Foundation and Blue Shield of California! The school is competing in the 2017-2018 Trash Free Lunch Challenge, and began by inviting Grades of Green to host a kick-off assembly to educate students about the program. Students were taught how to reduce, reuse, recycle, pack trash free lunches, and to use their new lunchtime sorting station. After the assembly, students who sorted their waste correctly earned a t-shirt. After lunch, students participated in a workshop to learn about the Kings Care Foundation G.O.A.L.S. program.  Students were split into four groups, and rotated to four interactive stations. They were able to play hockey with Kings player Kyle Clifford, practice recycling habits with a sorting game, spin the Grades of Green Jeopardy wheel to earn a reusable water bottle, and explore the brand new G.O.A.L.S. website features. Grades of Green is proud to partner with the Kings Care  Foundation on the Green Solutions platform, and was thrilled to bring the program to Saint Anthony!

To check out photos from the event, click here. To check out the press, click here, and click here! To read the Kings story about this awesome day, click here.

Grades of Green  Youth Corps Eco-Leadership program students participated in their first meet-up of the year at the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden. Eco-Leaders were guided through a leadership workshop, and then discussed their next steps in their chosen Grades of Green Activity. The theme of the day was creating a vision, which included a session on crafting goals to meet each student’s vision for their activity. Of course, everyone got to go on a tour to explore the beautiful arboretum, and to check out the peacocks roaming the property! Take a look at photos from the afternoon here.

Thank you to the incredible sponsors who help us make this program possible:  City of Santa Monica,  County of Los Angeles 3rd district, County of Los Angeles 4th district,  Arconic FoundationContinental DevelopmentSubaru PacificKlean KanteenFresh Brothers, and Grow.

Are you a student who is ready to take on a Grades of Green Activity in your school, but you don’t live in Los Angeles? Not to worry; Grades of Green offers support to students across the globe! You can schedule a meeting with one of our Advisors anytime by clicking here.

The 2017-2018 Trash Free Lunch Challenge officially kicked off at our 7th annual Training Day event. Grades of Green Team representatives from the 23 Los Angeles schools competing in this year’s Challenge visited the Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County to explore best practices in helping their school to decrease lunchtime waste. The Sanitation Districts gave attendees a tour of the closed down Puente Hills Landfill and Materials Recovery Facility to give the students, teachers, parents, custodial staff, and administrators alike a better understanding of how waste is managed, and the importance of reducing waste.

Along with the tour, school representatives came away from training day with a Trash Free Lunch Challenge Handbook, the inside scoop about best practices for the Challenge, and big prize bag of goodies from our partners including products from AlgalitaDabbawalla BagsFunkins, Dopper, Green ToysGo Green LunchboxLegends Socks, To Go Ware, Klean Kanteen, Planet Wise and U Konserve.

Interested in seeing Training Day in action? Click here to check out the photos!

Thank you to our incredible partners who help us bring the Trash Free Lunch Challenge to life. A special shout out to the Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles CountyNorthrop Grumman, City of Santa Monica,  County of Los Angeles 3rd district, County of Los Angeles 4th district, Kings Care Foundation, Carton Council, and the Johnson Ohana Charitable Foundation for making the Trash Free Lunch Challenge possible!

Interested in getting the inside scoop on some of the best practices discussed at Training Day? One of the crucial components of the Trash Free Lunch Challenge is setting up a solid Grades of Green Team. Join us for a free, interactive webinar on October 12th, 2017 to learn best practices! For more information about the Getting Started Webinar, click here.