This is what 16,000 pounds of e-waste stacked high on fifteen pallets looks like! On Saturday, April 26th, Youth Corps member Sydney H. hosted her second annual electronic waste collection drive outside of her middle school. Sydney partnered with All Green Electronics and Waste Management to host this event which included free curbside e-waste recycling and paper shredding. Sydney also advertised the e-waste opportunity to local businesses, and was able to help KAA, South Bay Brokers, and Diane Dempsey dispose of their old electronics in an eco-friendly way. The e-waste collected filled two All Green Electonics trucks to the brim, resulting in a very successful event! Sydney plans to use the funds collected to help grow her school’s environmental programs. Way to go Sydney on implementing your green project and inspiring and empowering your community to do something to care for the environment.

Thanks to the leadership of Youth Corps student Rylee G. and her Grades of Green club, Madison Elementary School hosted a wonderful Green Festival for the local community. The Green Festival included a variety of hands on activities for guests, including a Go Green Pledge Wall, an arts and crafts station using all recycled materials, eco-games such as trash-ketball, Natural Resources matching game, and solar powered toy race tracks. Visitors could even taste smores made from a solar powered oven constructed from a pizza box! Guests were invited to bring recyclables such as batteries, ink cartridges, and used shoes to be recycled properly, and could get more information on how to join the Green Team. Congratulations to the Madison Grades of Green club for hosting such a fun, educational event!

Grades of Green Youth Corps students were busy at the Manhattan Beach Earth Day Celebration this year. They helped guests create their own seed starters from compost, stamped hands, played environmentally themed educational games, and collected used shoes to be donated to Soles4Souls at the Grades of Green booth.  Youth Corps students Sarah and Hanna also educated guests about the ills of plastic pollution. One Youth Corps student, Annemarie, was presented the Environmental Hero award for all the environmental work that she has done this year in the community by VOICE. Thank you Murad, for being a wonderful sponsor of our Youth Corps and supporting our outreach events!

Youth Corps student, Antonio, continues his campaign to have California adopt “No Idle Zone” legislation for passenger vehicles when they are waiting in the pick up line at schools. He most recently spoke to the South Coast Air Quality Management District Governing Board Meeting to inform the governing body of his efforts of successfully implementing No Idle Zones at his school.  He also asked the Board to  help research the science behind idling health and environmental impacts.  We will follow Antonio’s progress and keep you up to date so you can implement No Idle Zones at your school too!  Check out Antonio in Coalition for Clean Air’s blog here.

Grades of Green’s Youth Corps Eco-Leadership Program has come in second place for the Keep America Beautiful Youth Recognition Award. Keep America Beautiful is the nation’s leading community improvement organization. Keep America Beautiful recognizes youth and schools who have exhibited an outstanding commitment to improving their community environment. The Grades of Green Youth Corps Eco-Leadership Program was the runner up in the Youth Recognition Award category for all youth programs in the nation! The Youth Corps students were awarded this honor because of the positive environmental change they are creating in their school community through the implementation of their Grades of Green Projects. These students have passed city-wide bans on Styrofoam and plastic bags, started earth clubs, installed hydration stations, held e-waste drives, implemented energy conservation projects, collected and donated used shoes, and established a district-wide No Idle Zone, among other accomplishments. Youth Corps students learn the connection between how their actions affect the environment, and discover they have the power to make big change with just a little help and guidance from Grades of Green. You can learn more about the 2014-15 Youth Corps here.

The Youth Corps is featured in the following press:

2013-2014 Grades of Green Youth Corps sponsor, Southern California Edison’s recent blog features four Grades of Green Youth Corps students who conducted energy reduction and awareness projects for their Green Projects. Check out what these students did by reading the full story here.


One of our second year Youth Corps students, Annemarie, was recently named an Environmental Hero at the Manhattan Beach Earth Day Celebration by VOICE (Volunteers and Organizations Improving the Community’s Environment). Annemarie was awarded for her work to reduce waste at her school and parish by implementing a recycling program in her gymnasium at American Martyrs School and to teach the local parish how to properly recycle and compost during the monthly pancake breakfasts. She has reduced the trash at the pancake breakfasts from 10 bags to 1 bag of trash, and her goal is to make it zero waste. Check out the full story that was featured in the MB Patch here.

Grades of Green Youth Corps members Jane and Riley (both from Mira Costa High School) presented at a zero waste workshop hosted by the South Bay Environmental Services last week. Rupam Soni, who is on Grades of Green’s Board of Directors and who works for the Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County, also presented. 

As part of the Sustainable Workshop Series, the workshop taught attendees how they can minimize their impact on the environment by moving towards zero waste. The workshop featured experts on sanitation, source reduction, and composting.

To learn more about the South Bay Environmental Services Center and other upcoming events, check out their website.

Grades of Green Youth Corps students teamed up at the Manhattan Beach Pier for the 29th Annual California Coastal Cleanup Day to pick up trash and litter from the beach. After hours of picking up trash, Youth Corps members collected 15 pounds of trash, which included 10 pounds of tar!  California Coastal Cleanup Day was first organized in 1985 by the California Coastal Commission.  Every year, on the third Saturday in September, Californians have turned out by the tens of thousands to lend their hands in support of clean beaches and inland waterways in the State’s largest volunteer event. This year, volunteers scoured shorelines and inland locations, picking up trash and debris at over 850 sites in 53 of California’s 58 counties up and down the California coast, from Mexico to the Oregon border, around San Francisco Bay, and at sites as far inland as Lake Tahoe. Early reports show the volunteers picked up 471,218 pounds of trash and an additional 30,530 pounds of recyclable materials, for a total of 501,748 pounds or 251 tons.  Thanks to our Youth Corps students for being a part of this amazing statewide effort!

Youth Corps student Jane shared her tips on how to live a waste free lifestyle at the January 23rd South Bay Cities Council of Governments Board of Directors meeting with Grades of Green Programs and Outreach Manager, Allie Bussjaeger.  At this meeting, Jane and Allie were able to reach and inspire an audience which included City Council members from Torrance, Lomita, Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach, Inglewood, Gardena, Carson, and Palos Verde. Thank you South Bay Cities for inviting Grades of Green to speak at this meeting! And thank you Murad for being a wonderful sponsor of Youth Corps outreach events such as this one!