Grades of Green school Maple Village Waldorf School from Long Beach, CA was recently nominated by the CA Department of Education as a Green Ribbon School, an honor which recognizes schools nationwide for environmental and health-friendly practices.
In addition to participating in Grades of Green’s Spring 2018 Water Challenge, Maple Village Waldorf school has expanded their environmental and health-friendly practices to other areas of the environment. By focusing on reusable produces they have diverted 95% of waste and by removing all turf and expanding their play yard to create a dirt and mulch play area as well as collecting rainwater for their raised edible gardens, they reduced their water usage by 50%. They endeavor to have a totally chemical-free environment through the use of Green Cleaning Products. Children take part in preparing and cooking 100% organic food which includes access to the “picking garden”. With the belief that education will support families’ and staff’s overall health and wellness, offered programs and workshops such as conscious parenting, cooking classes, yoga and meditation, and professional development in Environmental Principles and Concepts from their partner, TreePeople, have shown great results in their community.
Click here to read the full press release on Maple Village Waldorf School.
Interested in greening your school or community? Click here to sign up for Grades of Green’s Waste Campaign from January – April, or email email@example.com for more information.
After reducing their school’s lunchtime waste by 82% and diverting over 32,000 pounds of waste from landfills, Helen Keller Middle School was crowned the winning middle school of the 2018 Trash Free Lunch Challenge! Grades of Green celebrated Keller’s success with specials guests from the community. Board of Education Member Diana Craighead, Deputy Superintendent of Middle School Instruction Dr. Jill Baker, George Tsai from the Office of the Superintendent of Middle School Instruction, and Representative Herlinda Chico from Supervisor Hahn’s office all came to the campus congratulate the Helen Keller students on their hard work and achievements. Helen Keller’s Grades of Green Advisor, Cathy Procopio, gave a speech on why the deserved to win, such as the leadership of their outstanding student leaders. Upon recognizing each student on the Grades of Green Team with a certificate for the City of Long Beach, the school was presented with a $1,000 education grant from Northrop Grumman! After the presentations DJ Ozzie led a dance party with music and the students got to take photos with the Kings Ice Crew!
Interested in following in Helen Keller’s footsteps but don’t know where to start? Try setting up a “Share Box” in your cafeteria for unopened and unwanted cafeteria food and drinks. Anyone wishing to eat items from the Share Box may do so, and this prevents the food from going to waste! To read more about this idea, check out our Waste Sorting Station Activity.
Do you think your school has what it takes to win Grades of Green’s Trash Free Lunch Challenge? Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on how to join the 2019 Trash Free Lunch Challenge!
At Grades of Green, our mission is to inspire and empower kids to care for the environment, so when a group of passionate students at a school want to get involved, we are thrilled! After a few Girl Scouts at Prisk Elementary from Long Beach Unified School District learned about the negative impacts waste has on our environment, they were inspired to lead Grades of Green’s Trash Free Lunch Challenge to help their school reduce its waste. The Girl Scouts formed a student Grades of Green Team with their peers to teach proper lunchtime sorting habits and encourage students to pack trash free lunches.
After learning some best practices in implementing waste sorting stations and encouraging students to pack trash free lunches, the Prisk Green Team helped lead an educational assembly highlighting their school’s new waste sorting system. Green Team students held up actual examples of lunchtime items and taught students which bin the items would go in between a food donation box, liquids bucket, compost bin, recycling bin, landfill bin, and tray stacking box. They even took volunteer shifts at lunchtime to make sure there were sorting monitors to help each student sort their waste. At the end of their first day implementing the waste reduction program, the Prisk student Green Team was able to help their school go from fifteen bags of lunchtime trash down to just six!
Inspired to implement a student-led eco-program at your school? Sign up for Grades of Green’s Spring 2018 Water Challenge by clicking here, or email us at email@example.com for more information.
In just one year, Grades of Green can help an entire school transform student attitudes on waste reduction. Last year, Cesar Chavez Elementary from Long Beach Unified School District competed in Grades of Green’s 2016-2017 Trash Free Lunch Challenge. At the beginning of the Challenge, the school created twenty-five bags of lunchtime trash. Grades of Green challenged the school to set up a sorting station composed of a share box for uneaten cafeteria food, a compost bin for fruit and veggie scraps, a recycling bin, a landfill bin, and a tray-stacking station. Not only did students help create the stations, but they were instrumental in making sure it was utilized properly. Lead teacher, Sherri Gonser, developed a schedule so that students from every class could help support and maintain the program. From there, additional students from all grade levels became spontaneously enthusiastic and involved as they saw the impact of their efforts. Today the school produces only 7 bags of trash a day – a 72% waste reduction! Cesar Chavez Elementary students became so accurate at lunchtime sorting that they won the title of “Best Super Sorters” in the 2016-2017 Trash Free Lunch Challenge.
After the Challenge ends, schools have the opportunity to focus on the long-term continuity of their waste reduction program. To help keep students excited and involved in waste reduction, Cesar Chavez Elementary applied for and won a grant that will be used to upgrade their waste reduction program. The school plans on using the grant to purchase new bins, a canopy to provide shade over their waste sorting stations, and even Grades of Green Team T-shirts for the entire school! Congratulations Cesar Chavez!
Interested in having your school compete in an eco-challenge? Join Grades of Green’s Spring 2018 Water Challenge to see how much water your school can save! For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.