We should have done this program years ago! I love it! My back doesn’t hurt from throwing out all those bags of trash. I can’t believe we only have three bags of trash at lunch every day.

After a whopping six years of implementing Grades of Green Activities, Franklin Elementary School in Santa Monica is continuing their path to environmental sustainability by hosting an informative assembly for their kindergarten and first graders. Franklin Elementary Youth Corps Eco-Leadership Program students Felix, Averie and Kiera gave an assembly with the Grades of Green team to teach students the 4 R’s, how to pack trash free, and how to sort their lunchtime waste! After the assembly, students we able to practice their lunchtime sorting, and “super sorters” were rewarded with a raffle ticket that they could exchange for prizes.  Special thanks to Franklin Elementary’s Grades of Green Team for contributing to the school’s long history of implementing Grades of Green water activities such as the water reduction challenge, earth activities such as display cases, and waste activities such as litter monster, trash free lunches, and campus composting! Interested in learning more about the Youth Corps Eco-Leadership Program? Click here to read about all the students and the Grades of Green Activities they are working on this year. Interested in implementing Grades of Green Activities at your school? Find out how by clicking here!


If your school is taking on Grades of Green’s Trash Free Lunches Activity – this opportunity is for you!

The School Cafeteria Discards Assessment Project (SCrAP) is calling all elementary, middle, and high school students to help gather data aimed at reducing the amount of food waste in America! Private school or public school, your school can help out SCrAP. Did you know that about 40% of food produced in America is thrown away, equating to nearly $165 billion worth of food each year. This number is way too high!

Apply to be part of the national SCrAP program here.

The SCrAP program is a program under the Environmental Research and Education Foundation that collects data information for sustainable waste management practices! The SCrAP program helps to benefit your school through educating the staff/students at the school, reducing the school’s food waste, and reducing the school’s food costs! So much of the food we eat in school cafeteria contributes to the total amount of food wasted. Could you imagine if we could reduce all that wasted food?

All you have to do is sign your school up to participate in the program, select your school’s participation program, and complete the online questionnaire. You can start the process towards reducing your school’s waste by visiting here.

Checkout the new Grades of Green resource for schools below! 

One of Grades of Green’s signature activities is Trash Free Lunches, and while we encourage every student everywhere to bring their food and drinks to school in reusable containers, we know that many students receive their lunch from school cafeterias each day. So how can these students reduce their waste? Through a Grades of Green sorting station! Creating a sorting station is a great way to educate students on where their waste goes, what items can and cannot be recycled, composted, and more. For ideas on how to set up a sorting station for your school, click here, and check out our Trash Free Lunches website activity for more details. Is your school located in Southern California? If so you may be eligible to participate in our Trash Free Lunch Challenge – email us at info@gradesofgreen.org to learn more about how you can get involved!

After months of supporting 22 Los Angeles schools in their quest to reduce their lunchtime waste, Grades of Green is thrilled to announce the grand prize winners of the 2015-2016 Trash Free Lunch Challenge! The Trash Free Lunch Challenge is a year-long contest where Grades of Green works one on one with schools to help them implement school wide waste reduction programs, which focus on encouraging students to bring reusable water bottles, lunch containers, and napkins to school, and to sort any waste they may have into recycle, compost, landfill, liquids, and tray stacking. Each year schools reduce waste on average by 72%, and winning schools reduce their waste by 90% or more! This year’s schools were truly outstanding, and picking the grand prize winners was no easy task. In the middle school category, La Merced Intermediate in Montebello took the 1st place trophy and the $1,000 grand prize. La Merced boasts an incredible student leadership team which consists of students monitoring the five sorting stations daily, as well as a daily trash bag reduction of 40 bags to 10 or less. In the elementary school category, Collegewood in Walnut received the $1,000 grand prize for their average lunchtime waste reduction of 94%, awesome student Grades of Green Team, and their leadership in banning Styrofoam trays from all of the schools in their district. Congratulations to both La Merced Intermediate and Collegewood Elementary! Grades of Green is currently looking for schools to participate in the 2016-2017 Trash Free Lunch Challenge, for more information click here! To reserve your spot, email us at info@gradesofgreen.org today!