Elementary, middle, and high school students from Grades of Green schools in Santa Monica, together with community and environmental activists, made impassioned pleas to the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Board of Trustees this month to embrace sustainability throughout the district.  Seventy speakers were slated to testify about the necessity and benefits of long range sustainability planning.  Santa Monica High School students, some wearing “litter costumes”, shared data they collected while researching environmental concerns on their campus.  Waste, litter, plastic pollution, and water quality were some of the issues raised.  Even Grades of Green Youth Corps Eco-Leader Johanna J. joined the meeting to talk about her research on the environmental benefits of being vegan. Each speaker was allotted one minute to present their case. 

These students ROCKED the chamber.  Their voices were loud and their message was clear – include sustainability in the district’s mission, hire a sustainability officer, and establish a sustainability committee. 

These kids care about their planet and they stepped up to participate in the democratic process!  Want to learn ways that your school can care for the planet and implement an environmental activity like the Santa Monica Grades of Green students? Click here to register and unlock Grades of Green’s 40+ Activities. Interested in taking on an environmental activity of your own like Johanna? Click here to learn about Grades of Green’s Youth Corps Eco-Leadership program!


American science educator Bill Nye once said in his book Undeniable, “To leave the world better than you found it, sometimes you have to pick up other people’s trash.” Grades of Green Youth Corps Eco-Leadership students Lila and Sienna followed Bill Nye’s advice by picking up trash at the beach and then teaching peers at their school science expo different ways to reduce waste! Each attendee who decided to take on an environmental pledge related to waste then got to add a leaf to the team’s “eco tree” display. Youth Corps Eco-Leadership students Will and Marty also took on the trash theme by transforming into trash and recycle monsters! Attendees were able to ask the monsters questions about waste and recycling, and learn what an impact they can truly make. Interested in becoming a Youth Corps Eco-Leadership student and taking on an eco-activity like Lila, Sienna, Will, and Marty? Learn more about the program by clicking here. Want to implement some of these eco-activities and more at your school? Click here to register and unlock Grades of Green’s 40+ Activities!