Grades of Green Youth Corps Eco-Leadership student Johanna J. wrote an article and created a video on ocean pollution that were both featured on Supervisor Kuehl’s website and newsletter!  Check out her fun and informative video and learn about her firsthand experiences with Grades of Green by clicking here. Supervisor Kuehl and the Los Angeles County 3rd District support Grades of Green’s Trash Free Lunch Challenge and Youth Corps Eco-Leadership Program. Want to lead an environmental project in your own school community like Johanna but don’t know where to start?  Learn more about Grades of Green’s Youth Corps Eco-Leadership Program by clicking here! My Grades of Green Story by Johanna James.

Grades of Green was featured in the Santa Monica Daily Press in recognition of all the Grades of Green Website Activities and Youth Corps Eco-Leadership Activities implemented throughout schools in Santa Monica! Check out the article here to see what schools in Santa Monica are doing to help the environment. Click here to register and unlock our 40+ Grades of Green Activities and click here to learn more about our Youth Corps Eco-Leadership Program.

Grades of Green is proud to announce the grand prize winners of the 6th annual Trash Free Lunch Challenge! After a panel of environmental experts visited the top three middle schools and the top three elementary schools, the winners were selected. Winning schools were chosen based on how well the Grades of Green team inspired and educated their campus community about the importance of reducing waste, how much waste the school is diverting from landfills, and how the program will be sustained and expanded upon in the future.

Selecting the winners was no easy task. And the winners are…
In the middle school category, Lindbergh STEM Academy in Long Beach! Lindbergh launched a comprehensive waste reduction program, including donating uneaten food to local shelters daily and composting fruit and vegetable scraps on campus. The Grades of Green Team students meet weekly, and caring for the environment is explored through science projects, art, and more.  The school even reached out to their local city council members to involve them in the program. Congratulations Lindbergh!

In the elementary school category, the winner is McGaugh Elementary School in Seal Beach! The McGaugh community has made the Trash Free Lunch Challenge a permanent part of the campus culture. Three sorting stations are available to students daily, and student leaders monitor sorting stations to help their peers sort correctly. Student Grades of Green Team leaders host raffles to encourage kids to pack trash free lunches, and visit classrooms to manage paper, aluminum, and plastic recycling. Way to go McGaugh!

Congratulations to all of our schools! To read all about the success of the Trash Free Lunch Challenge winning schools, check out the links here: From the Desk of Councilmember Al Austin II,

Inspired by Lindbergh and McGaugh? Grades of Green is now recruiting schools to participate in the 2017-2018 Trash Free Lunch Challenge! Email us at today to learn more!

Shaya Kirkpatrick, one of the four Grades of Green founders, along with her husband Grant were featured in the March 2017 edition of Sunset Magazine. The combination of Shaya’s passion for the environment and Grant’s background in architecture (KAA Design, one of Grades of Green’s first supporting companies) allowed the duo to build a minimal environmental impact cabin. The article describes the unique eco-features of the cabin, including untreated, naturally decay-resistant redwood boardwalks and a long-lasting aluminum roof. The Grades of Green team is proud to have such an inspiring Board Member and Cofounder who not only teaches others to care for the environment, but also goes above and beyond to practice good environmental habits in her own life.

25 schools have been competing in Grades of Green’s 6th annual Trash Free Lunch Challenge, and have implemented awesome waste reduction programs in their school communities. Each of these schools has truly embraced the program, and we are so proud of their efforts.

After careful review, we are proud to announce the 6 finalist schools!
Elementary School Finalists (in no particular order): Lindstrom, McGaugh, Bridgeport
Middle School Finalists (in no particular order): Lindbergh, Macy Intermediate, Prairie Vista

Each school was a rock star in their own way, and as such we are pleased to award the following awards of recognition:

Citizens of the World – Best Education Program

King Middle School – Green Leaders of Tomorrow

Northpark Elementary – Best Student Leadership

Cesar Chavez Elementary – Best Super Sorters

Lynwood Middle School – Most Inspirational

Burcham Elementary – Eco Heroes Award

Ramona Elementary – Grades of Green MVP’s
Riviera Hall Elementary – 3R He”RRR”oes
Meadows Elementary – Greenest School Community
Viewpoint School – Best Composting Program
Bixby Elementary – Best Grades of Green Team
York Elementary – Best Eco-Posters

Congratulations to all of our schools! To read all about the success of the Trash Free Lunch Challenge schools, check out the links here: Santa Clarita Valley News (Northpark & Bridgeport), Santa Clarita Valley News (Bridgeport), Santa Clarita Valley News (Bridgeport).

This program would not be possible without the support of our amazing sponsors. We thank the following:  Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County, Los Angeles County 3rd District, City of Santa Monica, Lush Cosmetics, Northrop Grumman, Ukonserve, and the Johnson Ohana Charitable Foundation.

Interested in registering your school for the 2017-2018 Trash Free Lunch Challenge? The wait list is now open! Email us at for more information.


Prairie Vista Middle School in Hawthorne Unified School District featured their Grades of Green Trash Free Lunch Challenge participation in the Hawthorne edition of the School News. Check out the article by clicking here and get ready to be inspired by Prairie Vista’s awesome waste reduction efforts!

Grades of Green has been featured in the prestigious Conscious Magazine. Each Conscious Magazine Issue showcases the creative and innovative ideas that have had tangible impacts around the world.


Our staff members combined our green minds and collaborated on a piece that has just been published in the environmentally friendly magazine! The piece highlights the link between Grades of Green, and the UN Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs highlight all of the important humanitarian goals (including combating climate change) that the UN hopes to accomplish by the year 2030. Both Grades of Green and the SDG’s each aim to oversee and contribute to positive environmental changes in the world.


We are honored to be a part of such a socially impactful and important magazine. A big thank you goes out to Conscious Magazine for this opportunity that showcases who we are, and how impactful Grades of Green has been in making environmental protection second nature in young minds today.
Go grab your copy of this quarter’s Conscious Magazine today, located at Barnes and Nobles!