Just on the north side of the Santa Clarita River sits an elementary school that has found a way to turn a disciplinary situation into a teachable moment. When students on recess began a food fight with their unwanted healthy snacks, much to the chagrin of the parents who had thoughtfully packed them, their amazing teachers decided to educate their students about food waste. As the remorseful students of Bridgeport Elementary School cleaned up their mess, they quickly grew concerned about the sustainability issue right before their very eyes. Since 2016, the students from Bridgeport have become Grades of Green all-stars, by learning to reuse and reduce, as they’ve diverted waste, conserved water, and raised awareness about pollution in the Santa Clarita River.
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Shortly after the infamous food fight of 2016, Bridgeport Elementary students joined the Grades of Green Trash Free Lunch Challenge. They began to implement waste sorting stations in their cafeteria and educated their peers about the importance of using reusables. Their efforts resulted in 70% less lunchtime waste, and almost 90% of this lunchtime waste was recycled. Students groups from participating schools were taught how to eliminate waste by packing trash-free lunches (such as lunch containers, reusable water bottles and utensils, and cloth napkins). All students, including those who buy their lunch, were taught how to sort lunchtime waste for recycling and composting. In their first year as part of the Trash Free Lunch Challenge, Bridgeport Elementary finished among the four finalist schools that received Eco-Grants of $750.
Then, in the spring of 2019…
Having tasted success, the student leaders at Bridgeport Elementary set their sights higher! After several years of continuing to spread environmental education and participate in community service, Bridgeport’s student took our Waste Campaign by storm. Their project was so impressive, that Bridgeport’s team was selected by our judges to receive Grades of Green’s grand prize Eco-Grant of $1,000!
Bridgeport’s Winning Project
While implementing waste sorting in their school cafeteria, The Bridgeport Elementary Green Team was concerned by the large amount of perfectly edible food items that were being thrown into the landfill bin. They wanted that food to go somewhere that it would be eaten. The team decided they wanted to donate the food to local food pantries and homeless shelters, and their Grades of Green advisor provided resources and guidance to help them turn their ideas into action. In order to raise awareness and encourage other schools in their community to start a food rescue program, Bridgeport shared their video and set-up with all the families at their school and with all the schools in their district. You can see their awareness campaign video here.
I can’t be more proud of the change they’ve made on our campus!Karen Harvey, Assistant Principal – Bridgeport Elementary
Your Support helps schools like Bridgeport change their world for the greener
Bridgeport Elementary is a perfect example of how Grades of Green’s students can fundamentally change the environmental impact of their school community. Without these incredible students and their passion for the Earth and the people on it, just think of all the food that would be wasted!
We’re so proud to provide these inspiring students with Eco-Grants to help them take their Grades of Green projects to the next level, but it wouldn’t be possible without our donors’ generous support. We need your help to continue to provide these important Eco-Grants and grow the number of students that we work with.
We would be so appreciative if you’d show your support by donating today! You’ll be helping student teams, like the ones at Bridgeport, make their green dreams for our world become a reality!