This week is Composting Week!

From May 5 2019 to May 11, 2019, celebrate composting week by being more mindful of your food waste!

1. Reduce the amount of uneaten food this week.

Try planning your meals ahead of time and placing older food in the front of your refrigerator and older food in the back and labeling foods by date, you can keep your meals and ingredients fresh. By keeping your foods fresh and in good condition, you can reduce the need to throw away food in the first place.

2. Learn How to Compost!

Follow these tips to compost! To get started, you simply need a closed container (with small air holes), browns (dried leaves, coffee grinds, saw dust), fruit and vegetable scraps (no meat or dairy products), and a little bit of water! This container will naturally breakdown your food waste and organic materials as long as you stick to using the right ingredients and turn the compost once a week!

3. Use your compost!
You can use the compost created by your container to grow plants, vegetables, and herbs to create your own food! If you don’t want to grow plants, feel free to donate your compost to a local organization or a nearby gardener!

Let us know how long you have been composting in our social media page!

The results are in, and Grades of Green is thrilled to share the 7th annual Trash Free Lunch Challenge final report! Click here for the report which includes a summary detailing the success of each participating Los Angeles school, and highlights from this year. Collectively, the 2017-2018 Trash Free Lunch Challenge has educated and inspired over 13,000 students on how to reduce, reuse, recycle and rot (compost); saved schools over $11,500 by reducing trash bag liners used and waste hauler fees; and empowered participating schools to divert over 46,300 bags of trash, or 463 tons from the landfill.  That’s the same weight as 116 African elephants! On average, this year’s schools diverted 65% of their lunch waste from the landfills, and winning schools reduced their waste by over 80%.

This program would not be possible without the support of our amazing sponsors. We thank the following:  Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles CountyLush CosmeticsNorthrop Grumman,  LA Kings Care FoundationLos Angeles County 4th District, the Carton Council, and the Johnson Ohana Charitable Foundation.

Inspired and interested in starting an environmental movement in your school or community? Sign up for Grades of Green’s Water Campaign kicking off in August 2018! Email for more information.

Did you know that 80% of office waste is recyclable?  Whether it be paper, plastic, food, or batteries, there are many workspace items that end up in the landfill that can and should be diverted. In Los Angeles, the Grades of Green office is located at a shared workspace called Bizhaus.  BizHaus El Segundo recently upgraded its recycling programs by implementing a compost bucket and e-waste collection bin with the help of Grades of Green!

In January 2018, Grades of Green set up a compost bucket in the BizHaus El Segundo kitchen. Members learned that instead of simply throwing away their fruit and veggie scraps in the trash can where it would end up in a landfill, they could instead place these food scraps in the compost bucket where the nutrients would either be composted and returned to the soil or recycled and converted into energy. This results in up to 5 pounds of food waste being diverted from landfills each week!

E-waste items like batteries, keyboards, and phones contain toxins that can contaminate the environment if thrown in the trash and left in a landfill. Instead, these items need to be disposed of in a proper recycling facility. This past school year, Grades of Green eco-leaders Lauren and Gaby implemented e-waste drives at their schools and reached out to BizHaus El Segundo to collect items from all the members. Even after their e-waste drives ended, many BizHaus members realized they still had a lot of e-waste that needed to be disposed of properly. This inspired BizHaus El Segundo to start their own e-waste collection bin. Although it’s been less than a week, BizHaus members are already placing items in the Grades of Green e-waste bin!

Lauren and Gabby inspired an entire business to make an environmentally friendly change. Do you want to inspire your school or community to improve water quality or promote water conservation but don’t know where to start?  Click here to learn about Grades of Green’s Fall 2018 Water Campaign!

Grades of Green is thrilled to be partnering with 22 Los Angeles elementary, middle and K-8 schools in our 7th annual Trash Free Lunch Challenge. Each year, schools compete to see who can be the best at inspiring and empowering students to care for the environment by reducing their lunchtime waste. Stemming from Grades of Green’s Trash Free Lunches Activity, the Challenge encourages students to reduce, reuse and recycle to create a healthier environment. On average, participating schools reduce their trash by 72%, and winning schools reduce by over 90%. Grades of Green is able to support 25 schools in this year’s Challenge, meaning we have just 3 spots left!

Interested in getting your school involved in the Trash Free Lunch Challenge? Email us today if you’d like to learn more and to save your spot at

Thanks to the help of National Charity League volunteers, Grades of Green was able to attend the Beach Cities Health District’s Taste of Blue Zone event last Sunday! Attendees sampled various mouth-watering yet healthy food samples offered by local Blue Zone restaurants. Grades of Green followed the healthy foods theme by offering guests vegetables, but these vegetables were not for eating – they were for stamping! Grades of Green’s veggie stamping activity involves dipping scraps from veggies like onions, mushrooms, and tomatoes in an ink pad, and then stamping the beautiful and intricate designs onto recycled paper cards. Interested in other ways that your school can utilize fruit and veggie food scraps? Click here to check out Grades of Green’s Waste Activities including our Campus Composting Activity and our Worm Bins Activity. Want help implementing activity? Click here to register with Grades of Green, unlock our 40+ activities, and get one-one-one support from an advisor!


Bryant Ranch Elementary School joined Grades of Green in 2016, and is kicking off their program by focusing on waste reduction. Concerned with the amount of food wasted each day at lunchtime, the Grades of Green Team set to work on rolling out Grades of Green’s Trash Free Lunches Activity and Campus Composting Activity. After preparing sorting station containers consisting of compost, bottles and cans collection, recycle, landfill, and tray stacking, Grades of Green hosted an assembly to educate the students on how to reduce, reuse, and recycle. Students were taught how to pack a trash free lunch, how to conserve natural resources, and how to use their new sorting station. After the assembly, students used the sorting stations for the first time. At the end of lunch, only 4 bags of trash were filled compared to the usual 7, and all fruit and veggie scraps were taken to the garden to be composted. Way to go Bryant Ranch! Interested in introducing Grades of Green’s waste reduction activities in your school community? Email us today at to get started!