This Earth Month, Grades of Green students across the South Bay are taking action to protect our planet and they need your help! Check out these opportunities for you to help our students make the South Bay healthier, cleaner and greener throughout April!


Clean Up Litter and Turn Your Trash into Treasured Art – April 17

El Segundo 9th-Grader, Addison, and our student team from Goethe Elementary invite you to join the El Segundo Museum of Art and the El Segundo Public Library to clean up litter and learn how to create art out of waste. It’s a fun way to clean up your community and learn how to reuse items so they don’t enter the waste stream.

Learn all about it by watching this video made by Addison, a 9th-Grader from El Segundo.

Please support Addison and the Goethe team’s efforts and join their virtual presentation on turning your trash into treasure!


Help Reforest Wildfire-Affected Areas with Manhattan Beach Middle School

Help fight climate change by planting trees for Earth Month. The MBMS Grades of Green team is fundraising to reforest areas of California affected by wildfire and drought. Each dollar donated to our One Tree Planted fundraiser will plant 1 tree in California. Watch the video below to see why trees are so important in protecting our planet and fighting climate change and then click here to donate to their fundraiser.

Anyone who donates $5 or more can fill out this form to be entered into a raffle to win gift certificates to Deep Roots Garden Center and International Garden Center.

Join the Mira Costa High School’s Meatless Monday Campaign

High school junior and Grades of Green veteran, Sam Torres, has partnered with Southern California small businesses to encourage more planet-friendly diets through her Grades of Green Club’s #MeatlessMonday campaign. Members of the public who post pictures of their plant-based meals are entered into a giveaway featuring gift cards and items from a new business every Monday. The campaign ends April 25th, so don’t miss your chance to green your diet and enter to win some awesome prizes!

Your support empowers Grades of Green’s students to make long-lasting environmental impacts in their communities and develop the skills they need to be the environmental leaders of the future. To say “thank you,” our students recorded a special message for you!


Further your support of tomorrow’s Eco-Leaders!

We would like to give a warm welcome to the newest members of the Grades of Green team, Katie and Malcolm!

Katie and Malcom join us as 2020 – 2021 Climate Corps Fellows. Grades of Green has been partnering with the award-winning fellowship program to support emerging sustainability leaders as they tackle today’s most pressing environmental issues.

Climate Corps is powered through AmeriCorps, the renowned network of national service programs. The fellows who work with us receive valuable on-the-job training while Grades of Green gets dedicated full-time staff members who support the day to day operations and programming of our organization. Check out more about what they’re working on at Grades of Green below!

Katie, Program Communications Associate

As a Program Communications Associate, Katie helps tell the stories of Grades of Green’s awesome student Eco-leaders. She produces and refines communications, marketing, and program materials like social media posts, blog posts, newsletters, graphics, guidebooks, and other content as needed. Katie is also responsible for implementing elements of Grades of Green’s internal and external communications strategies and tracking performance metrics.

Link to bio

Malcolm, Program Advisor

As a Program Advisor Associate, Malcolm works both with the Programs team as well as the many motivated Eco-Leaders. He helps guide teams through the Climate Solutions Campaign by providing climate advice, leadership skills, and helpful insight. Malcolm also has a hand in helping with the development of Grades of Green programs by hosting Webinars, Facilitator Trainings, and looking to further practices through data management and mapping.

Link to bio

We are proud to host Climate Corps fellows and have seen first-hand how they provide valuable insight and passion to help our programs reach their maximum potential!

Grades of Green is so excited to announce the launch of our brand new Climate Solutions Campaign. We’ve taken our students’ feedback and everything we’ve learned over the years to create our best Campaign program yet!

As always, the Climate Solutions Campaign is FREE for all participants.
Students can win Eco-Grants up to $1,000!

Students: Join Us Today!

Find out what you’ll be doing by checking out the Guidebook!

Campaign Highlights

  • What It Is: Students will work closely with our Advisors throughout our award-winning Campaign program to…
    1. Become an expert on an environmental issue tied to the climate crisis
    2. Develop a green solution related to that environmental issue to be implemented in their community
    3. Learn to gain community support for their solution from the public, businesses and government leaders
    4. Create meaningful change in their community by implementing their solution
  • Timeline: You can start RIGHT NOW and the Campaign extends through May of 2021. So sign up today!
  • Pandemic-Ready Projects: Students can complete the Campaign 100% virtually, allowing solo students and teams to take action under stay-at-home orders
Mary Bragg Winners Recognized
So far, the Mary Bragg Green Team has won $1,500 in Eco-Grants! Sign up today, and you could win, too! Photo courtesy of ABCUSD.

Students Get The Opportunity to…

  • Take REAL ACTION to combat the climate crisis
  • Meet school service hours virtually
  • Gain experience that is perfect for college resumes and essays
  • Level up their leadership skills through one-on-one mentorship from our expert advisors

Past Student Teams have…

  • Pushed cities to pass city-wide plastic bag bans
  • Helped lawmakers pass state-wide clean air legislation
  • Planted hundreds of trees in their communities
  • Started school-wide composting programs
  • Held energy reduction competitions

Sound Exciting? Join Us to Help Solve the Climate Crisis!

Thank you for joining us!

Our students are excited to share with you their presentation for the United Nation’s World Oceans Day week of events!

The presentation is titled ” Motivate Your Audience to Take Action: Lessons Learned by Student Advocates from Grades of Green.” During the 25-minute video, you’ll learn all about the 4 key elements of a powerful, convincing advocacy message. These elements were learned by the presenting students as part of the

Join us on Facebook for the live airing of the presentation where we’ll be responding to comments and questions.



Watch the Presentation Now

If you’d rather watch the presentation here, that’s great too! Simply click play on the below video to watch their presentation in full!

Motivate Your Audience to Take Action: Lessons Learned by Student Advocates from Grades of Green

With the support of Sony Pictures’ A Greener World, we challenged students to put together a pitch video to showcase their solution to environmental problems in their communities and beyond. It was incredible to see all the students who managed to work throughout the difficulties presented by stay-at-home orders in response to the coronavirus.

The result? Grades of Green has been overwhelmed by the number of Green Pitch video entries that we received and are even more blown away by all the students who worked so hard! All of the videos showed such great passion and commitment to taking care of our environment. 

It was VERY difficult to narrow it down, but we are pleased to announce the winners!

Winning Teams

The winning student or team will earn an Eco-Grant of $1,000 and two (2) runner-up students or teams will earn $500! All three winners will be able to tour the Sony Pictures Studio Lot and/or watch a live taping of a Sony Pictures production.

Grand Prize Winner: Whitney High School

Whitney High School

Runner Up: Umar from Irvine High School

Irvine High School

Runner Up: Manhattan Beach Middle School

Manhattan Beach Middle School

Finalists Videos

Check out our finalists’ videos below – they were all amazing!

CAMS Hear Club

CAMS Hear Club

Explore Marine Life Team

Explore Marine Life Team

Helen Keller Green Team

Helen Keller Green Team

Irvine SEVA Group

Irvine SEVA Group

Linwood E. Howe Elementary

Linwood E. Howe Elementary

While fashion is a fun way to express yourself, it’s also one of the top contributors to damaging the environment. With many businesses adopting more eco-friendly practices, sustainability is a big and important topic right now.

A student group at California Academy of Math and Sciences (CAMS), in Carson, California, is advocating for sustainable fashion choices as part of their 2020 Waste Campaign project. The students have been focused on reducing the number of clothes headed to the landfill and microfiber pollution and are promoting apps and websites where students can sell their second-hand clothes instead of throwing them away.

The CAMS students saw this as an opportunity after doing a survey at their school which found “less than 10% of our school were either aware or used any of these apps, these second-hand selling apps. So we wanted to increase that percentage …. to help the environment,” said CAMS student, Cathleen U.

They’ve been hard at work promoting this smart way to be more sustainable. Below are a few tips on how you and your loved ones can make more sustainable fashion choices, too.

Support Sustainable Brands

Making eco-friendly fashion choices doesn’t mean that you can’t buy new clothes. It’s about making a conscious decision to support sustainable brands that help our environment. The next time you and your friends are planning a shopping trip, do some research to see which brands are eco-friendly and which are not. You can easily find this information on company websites or their social media channels. Look into ethical brands to see which ones share the same values as you and your friends and family. Doing so will not only help the environment but will also help promote fair and equal working conditions as well!

“A lot of the clothes don’t even end up on display, don’t end up in the hands of anybody. They just go to the landfill. So these apps allow people to give these clothes a chance.”

Oliver K — a CAMS student Eco-Leader

Encourage Proper Clothing Disposal

As much as shopping sustainably is important, so is the proper disposal of our clothing. Every year, trends come and go and we find ourselves reaching for certain pieces in our closets less frequently. Now that spring has finally sprung, encourage your friends and family to do a closet cleanout and properly dispose of their unwanted clothing. Instead of tossing items in the trash where they’ll sit in landfills and emit greenhouse gases, sell your old clothing to a secondhand shop. Not only will this positively impact the environment, but your friends and family also won’t have to worry about doing any of the heavy lifting that is involved with selling their clothes.

The student team at CAMS knows why it’s so important to reconsider how we dispose of our clothing. “A lot of the clothes that people donate actually don’t even end up being sold to these … brick and mortar shops,” said Oliver K. — a CAMS student. “A lot of the clothes don’t even end up on display, don’t end up in the hands of anybody. They just go to the landfill. So these apps allow people to give these clothes a chance.”

Host a Clothing Swap

Another eco-friendly way to get rid of unwanted clothing and even score some new pieces is to host a clothing swap party. Reach out to your friends and family and arrange a time for everyone to bring over any clothing they no longer want. You can then set up tables and arrange the items by style, size, or even season and occasion. You and your loved ones can then go through each item and pick out your desired pieces. Any clothing left over after the swap can be donated to a local shelter or organization.

Upcycle Your Clothes Together

For those pieces that you or your loved ones may have that you’re not quite ready to let go of yet, consider upcycling your clothes. Grab your friends and family, get out your craft supplies, and watch your clothes transform! Have a pair of jeans or pants that are too short? Turn them into cut-off shorts. Have a worn-out t-shirt that you no longer wear? Turn it into a reusable grocery bag! Whether you DIY your clothes so you’re able to re-wear them or turn them into something else entirely, embrace your crafty side to completely transform your wardrobe!

The AMAZING students at Grand View Elementary made it on Spectrum 1 News! The Grand View campaign team was featured as was the school’s incredible trash sorting efforts that were set up a decade ago by Grades of Green students. We’re so proud to show off these Eco-Leaders’ dedication to the environment. Thank you, Spectrum 1!

We’d like to thank Grand View Elementary for letting us film and the Grand View PTA for its continued support of our vision to empower and inspire the next generation of Eco-Leaders. Grades of Green was founded at Grand View more than 10 years and we continue to work closely with their incredible students to keep Manhattan Beach and California at the forefront of environmental action!

Two Grades of Green students featured in Spectrum 1 News’ coverage.

We’re so excited to share with you the winners of our 2019 Water Campaign! These amazing student teams worked so hard on behalf of their environment and their communities.

Grand Prize Eco-Grant Winner – $1,000

Fisher Middle School – Los Gatos, California

The Fisher Green Team was able to accomplish its goals, and then some! Not only did they convince their classmates to reduce the use of single-use plastics, but they also got their school’s leadership to:

• Stop selling single-use plastic water bottles!
• Switch to reusable aluminum bottles
• Eliminate sales of Capri Sun, due to the attached straw and single-use container
• Support the new use of all compostable and sustainable serving trays in the cafeteria
• Switch from single-use plastic water bottle sales at after school events, to cardboard cartons of water
• Allow the Green Team to plan and implement new trash sorting stations campus-wide to help make sure their recyclables can be recycled

How did the Fisher team do all this? They put together a powerful campus-wide advocacy campaign to convince their fellow students, their administrators, and their school’s community to support their green initiatives.

Student Leadership Award

Beatrice O. at Whitney High School – Cerritos, California

Beatrice has always gone above and beyond to help her fellow students take environmental action! Here are just a few of the qualities that her Grades of Green Advisor, Cathy, shared with us: she has great organizational and planning skills, she’s very responsive, very sophisticated and exhibits the most excellent leadership! Congratulations to Beatrice for not only receiving this award but also for leading her team to a third season in the finals.

Help us to Provide Next Campaign’s Eco-Grants

We need your help to continue to provide these transformative Eco-Grants to our students. These grants encourage students to complete their projects, and are one of the most powerful ways for us to expand our students’ impact!

Best Community Changemaker – $500

Mary Bragg Elementary School – Cerritos, California
We knew we had a very special team on our hands when the elementary students from Mary Bragg called out their school board for using single-use plastic bottles while the team pitched to them their plastic-reduction plan. These young students changed how their school community approached single-use plastics and convinced their school to reduce single-use plastics on campus and do a better job of recycling.

Runner Up: El Rancho Charter School – Anaheim, California

Best Innovative Idea – $500

Irvine SEVA Group – Irvine, California
The SEVA Group found a plastic problem that many green-leaning people overlook: plastic produce bags in the grocery store, which can easily be replaced with reusable versions. They met with their PTA and other members of their school community to convince them to go reusable and also did something unique! The SEVA group got their own reusable produce bags and went to a local store to hand them out and raise awareness of the issue. They’re currently in the middle of setting up another give-away event at another local grocery.

Runner Up: Magruder Middle School – Torrance, California

Best Impact by an Elementary School – $500

Seven Generations Charter School – Emmaus, Pennsylvania
These fourth graders worked hard to reduce the amount of single-use plastic, especially sandwich baggies, packed in their school’s lunches. They wanted to educate people in their school and community in an entertaining way, so they went above and beyond to make an extra “Family Feud” themed video to share their project. They also worked to provide easy access to sustainable alternatives to sandwich baggies by coming up with a proposal to the PTO to sell school-branded reusable snack pouches.

Runner Up: Innovation Academy – Oro Valley, Arizona

Best Grades of Green Alumni Team – $500

Airbender Team at Hughes Middle School – Long Beach, California
The Hughes Airbenders have been working with Grades of Green for a few years, and we’ve always been very impressed with their work. This year, their team did an excellent job of picking a specific target audience for their advocacy campaign. Their school’s physical education department had been a major place where students were using single-use plastic bottles. Among other tactics, they set up a competition to encourage students, coaches and teachers to use fewer plastic bottles and the change stuck!

Runner Up: Nathaniel Hawthorne Middle School – Bayside, New York

International Changemaker Award – $500

The Parallel Projects
We developed this new award as a means to recognize the teams that work to tackle the unique environmental challenges facing communities across the globe. For the Water Campaign, we wanted to specifically feature those who struggle with plastic pollution and access to clean water. The inaugural awardee was obvious: the Parallel Projects which is a collaboration between Justin S. and his mom, Sheri, and all of their friends in Africa – Perise, Maulid, Hudu, Rashid and others.

Most Impactful Adult Supporter

Pamela Weinstein
Will Rogers Middle School – Long Beach, California
Pam is a superstar! In addition to being an incredible educator, she’s dedicated to the environment and making sure her students develop powerful leadership skills. She makes sure that every semester her students have numerous opportunities to advocate for environmental change, both on campus and in the larger community.