VERTE 2019 is just two weeks away, and we are very excited to celebrate ten years of environmental mentorship with you. As we approach our annual VERTE gala, we would like to take a moment to recognize our partners who have helped us reach this important milestone. Without further delay, announcing the VERTE 2019 Honorees!

Environmental Advocacy Honoree: The City of Manhattan Beach

Since Grades of Green’s inception ten years ago, the City of Manhattan Beach has been a cornerstone partner. From our flagship school, Grandview Elementary, to the four Waste Campaign Teams from Manhattan Beach this past Spring, the City has been extremely supportive of Grades of Green Eco-Leaders. Not only has Manhattan Beach made sustainability a priority in its own right, the city has encouraged student presentations and civic engagement.

In 2014, the City of Manhattan Beach welcomed Grades of Green Eco-Leaders to a City Council Meeting, where they presented on the effects of Styrofoam on our environment. The student leaders were instrumental in what was hailed as “the strongest Styrofoam ban in the country.” In 2018, Grades of Green Eco-Leaders presented to Manhattan Beach City Council, this time advocating for the ban of all single-use plastics. By April, Manhattan Beach had moved to ban plastic straws and utensils. Grades of Green has worked with the City of Manhattan Beach countless times in between, and we hope to continue to work together for many years to come.

Environmental Advocacy Honoree: Lonely Whale

As Grades of Green enters it’s tenth year, our Eco-Leaders represent a global community of 22 countries. Reaching international, often remote regions requires radical collaboration, which is exactly what Lonely Whale is all about. By collaborating with multiple partners on sustainability campaigns and initiatives, Lonely Whale has established themselves as one of the most recognizable brands in environmental advocacy. Lonely Whale works with nonprofits, student leaders, and environmental advocates, operating as a think tank, developing innovative and far-reaching sustainability initiatives.

In developing the Ocean Heroes Bootcamp, it was Lonely Whale’s mission to empower existing and emerging youth leaders to create their own campaigns to take action against ocean plastic pollution. Working with Grades of Green, Lonely Whale welcomed Eco-Leader Cosmo to present at the Ocean Heroes Bootcamp. Working with Lonely Whale allows Grades of Green to present student leaders with unique opportunities to escalate their projects and make lasting change on a local and global level. We are proud to recognize Lonely Whale as our Environmental Advocacy Honoree, Executive Director Dune Ives will be accepting the award on behalf of Lonely Whale.

A special thank you to VERTE guests…

Grades of Green Founders: Kim Lewand Martin, Suzanne Kretschmer, Shaya Kirkpatrick, and Lisa Coppedge

As we celebrate our 10th Earth Day Birthday, we’d like to recognize our founders Kim Lewand Martin, Suzanne Kretschmer, Shaya Kirkpatrick, and Lisa Coppedge. Their efforts have given hundreds of thousands of students the opportunity to bring their sustainability initiatives to life.

Founding PlanetPals Volunteers: Inga Middleton and Paki Wolfe

In addition to the four founders, founding PlanetPals volunteers Inga Middleton and Paki Wolfe were instrumental in launching Grades of Green. Their tireless efforts during the early stages of our environmental nonprofit allowed the organization to flourish into what it is today.

Founding Sponsors and Supporters: KAA Design Group, Waste Management, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

We would not be able to provide the resources and mentorship to our students if not for the generous support of our founding sponsors and supporters. KAA Design Group, Waste Management, and Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP have given us the opportunity to reach student leaders all around the world. The organizations have shown a commitment to building a sustainable future, and we look forward to working them for years to come.

We look forward to celebrating with you at the Westdrift Hotel in Manhattan Beach on April 20th. Few tickets are still available, so reserve your seat today.

In preparation of our tenth birthday, Grades of Green would like to take the opportunity to thank everyone who has made our vision possible. From the Eco-Leaders taking action and bringing change to their communities, to the generous donors and sponsors who ensure all Grades of Green students receive the environmental mentorship they deserve; we are so grateful to work with each of you.

We look forward to celebrating 10 years of eco-change with the community that sparked a global movement at VERTE 2019! We have several surprises in store that you won’t want to miss, including a Global Tasting Menu from Chef Sabado, Illusionist Luke Brady mesmerizing the crowd, a live performance from Manhattan Beach’s own Joe’s Band, and now specialty cocktails and a tequila tasting from our friends Nosotros Tequila!

Nosotros Tequila Cocktail Bar

A proud sponsor of VERTE 2019, Nosotros Tequila will be mixing up specialty cocktails inspired by Grades of Green. The “World’s Best Tasting Tequila” and Double Gold award-winning juice is the result of blending two agave regions to create a taste profile that is both unique and delicious. Their sustainably-sourced highland agaves give Nosotros a sweet and citrus introduction while lowland agaves bring an herbal finish, truly one of a kind.

The name Nosotros comes from enjoying premium tequila with family, friends, and loved ones. Located in the heart of Hermosa Beach, CA, Nosotros reaches its global community through a 1% donation of all revenue to Waves for Water, an NGO that focuses on disaster relief by providing clean drinking water to those in need. Continuing their conservation efforts, Nosotros is pleased to lend its support to Grades of Green.

Nosotros Tequila is sure to shake things up at VERTE 2019. Miss this and you’ll be green with envy.

Limited tickets are still available, click here to reserve your seat today.

As of this writing, Grades of Green Eco-Leaders have diverted over 400 tons of waste, protected over 16 million gallons of water, and were instrumental in four legislations that banned single-use plastics. The impact our Eco-Leaders have had over the past ten years is truly monumental. The annual VERTE gala is a time to recognize the accomplishments of our hard-working Eco-Leaders, all around the globe, and ensure that they have the tools necessary to lead their generation to a brighter, more sustainable, future.

This year, as a special ‘Thank You’ to all our generous donors, we have several surprises in store to make VERTE 2019 an event you’ll never forget.

Ten years of environmental mentor-ship is an accomplishment worthy of an equally impressive venue. At the westdrift Manhattan Beach Autograph Collection Hotel, guests will be lavished with comfort and luxury by a five-star staff. Having completed a multi-million-dollar renovation just last year, westdrift effortlessly combines east-coast elegance and the laid-back vibe of coastal California.

westdrift Manhattan Beach Autograph Collection Hotel

LA Confidential named the westdrift Hotel and Restaurant one of the top reasons why celebs are suddenly flocking to Manhattan Beach. “Westdrift channels beach-cum-urbane chic. Its lobby intentionally echoes the Manhattan Beach pier with massive wood pilings, while the indoor-outdoor eatery, Jute, overseen by SLS Bazaar’s Octavio Sabado, continues the city’s celeb-chef love affair,” wrote LA Confidential Lifestyle reporter Alexandria Abramian.

Executive Chef Octavio Sabado’s Jute Coastal Bar and Restaurant was also named a Best New Restaurant by Tasting Table. He will be preparing a Global Tasting Menu for the guests at VERTE to experience culinary innovations and cuisines from around the world – all countries and areas representing a Grades of Green school.

We look forward to celebrating with you, on April 20th at the westdrift Manhattan Beach Hotel. Table Sponsorships are still available. You can purchase tickets to VERTE 2019 here.

Are you passionate about making special events come to life? Join the Grades of Green team as an Event Planning Intern and help Grades of Green bring our annual gala, Verte 2019, to life! Your responsibilities will include assisting with event planning logistics, auction coordination, donor acknowledgement, and more.

Check out the Event Planning Intern job description here. To apply, please send a cover letter and resume to Applicants will be considered on a rolling basis.