We’ve all heard the rule that we shouldn’t feed wildlife, but what happens when the wildlife feed themselves human food? Green Team students at El Segundo Middle School noticed that birds would fly onto their campus and eat lunchtime waste from open trash bins and litter scattered across campus – food sources that are unhealthy for birds. Unfortunately, this trash eating habit is a common issue for birds near coastal schools.
Through the Waste Campaign, these eco-leaders determined that their solution is to educate their entire school community to properly sort their lunchtime waste between their compost, recycling, and landfill bins through classroom-to-classroom presentations. The team will also prevent birds from accessing the school’s waste by obtaining special lids for their bins and motivating their school community to keep their campus litter-free. This prevents litter from affecting the environment which would direct birds towards healthier food and more natural food sources.
Interested in implementing an eco-solution in your community like the El Segundo Middle School Green Team? Click here to sign up for the Fall 2019 Water Campaign wait list to receive more information about the program.
Did you know that it takes 5 years for a cardboard milk carton to decompose in a landfill? After playing Grades of Green’s “How Long Until It’s Gone” eco-game, students at the Boys and Girls Club at Towne Avenue Elementary in Carson, CA learned how long it took for different items to decompose in a landfill.
Boys and Girls Club Students teamed up to form “Team Towne,” a team dedicated to recycling milk cartons provided during snack time to reduce the amount of waste going into landfills. With over 100 students in the Club, Team Towne hopes to recycle over 1,000 milk cartons by the end of the school year with 90% accuracy.
Interested in implementing an eco-solution in your community? Click here to sign up for the Fall 2019 Water Campaign wait list to receive more information about the program.
Grades of Green Board Chair Barbara Franqui was featured in Modern Conservationist, a blog focusing on insight into the most pressing issues affecting environmental and wildlife conservation efforts today. Click here to read how Grades of Green eco-leaders ages 12-18 around the globe are creating local environmental movements!
Grades of Green: Growing the Next Generation of Environmental Activists
Interested in starting an environmental movement in your community? Register for Grades of Green’s Waste Campaign beginning in January 2019 by clicking here.
Since 2011, Grades of Green has worked with schools across southern California to divert 1,740 tons of waste from landfills by setting up waste sorting stations, composting, and more through the Trash Free Lunch Challenge program! This spring, Grades of Green is expanding our waste reduction program to empower 200 student teams across the globe to tackle regional waste issues.
Starting in January, Grades of Green is launching our four-month Waste Campaign for 6th-12th grade students to engage eco-heroes across the globe to take action to reduce waste and develop sustainable, student-led solutions to waste issues relevant to their region. A Waste Campaign Team (a group of students, educators and community leaders) researches local waste issues, develops a solution to a water issue, and shares that idea with the community. Thanks to our sponsors, this program is free to all students, and Grades of Green will even provide personalized virtual mentorship, student leadership training, webinars featuring waste experts, waste conservation resources, and the opportunity to connect with other participating teams across the globe. Winning Campaign Teams, announced in April, will also receive up to $1,000 in Eco-Grant prizes to fund their innovative solutions. Check out this video to learn more!
The Waste Campaign is open to 200 teams of students across the globe. Campaign teams can come from schools, after-school programs, sports teams, community teams, and more! Each team needs at least 5 student members and one adult lead to supervise.
Do you know three students that are up for the challenge? Nominate them now! To join the Waste Campaign, have an adult lead complete this Google Form by January 11th!
REGISTER FOR THE SPRING WASTE CAMPAIGN HERE!
On September 15, 2018, over 35,558 lbs of trash was collected from California beaches in honor of Coastal Cleanup Day – that’s about the weight of three adult killer whales! The California Coastal Commission hosts a Coastal Cleanup Day event every year to help clean up different beaches across California. This year’s event attracted over 12,560 volunteers. Grades of Green students and supporters joined in on the action at Dockweiler Beach organized by our friends at Heal the Bay.
500 volunteers recruited
199 bags of trash collected
530 pounds of trash removed from Dockweiler Beach
Grades of Green volunteers mobilized and spent the morning filling up buckets with trash found at the beach. The usual suspects – cigarette butts, plastic straws, and food wrappers – were all tallied up and collected by volunteers. Similarly, polystyrene pieces, the tiny culprits from foam cups and containers, were found all along the shores of our beautiful beaches. Although it was disheartening to find so much trash in our beaches, we are grateful that so many Grades of Green and other volunteers were inspired to come out and help restore 54 miles of beaches to their natural beauty. Here’s what volunteers at the Dockweiler site location accomplished:
Grades of Green volunteers were thanked for their hard work with reusable bottles that were donated by Klean Kanteen.
Are you interested in taking a stand against waste? Email email@example.com for more information on how you can join our Waste Campaign, a global competition to research local waste issues, develop solutions, and share the solution with your community! The Waste Campaign will kick off January 2019. Email us today to save your spot!
Grades of Green would not be possible without the support of people that care about the environment and want to help make a difference. Each year, Grades of Green hosts VERTE to raise funds for our programs and each year we have different live auction items that our supporters can bid on. This year, one of our live auction item experiences included a Costa Rica Adventure donated by Bodhi Surf + Yoga. This one-of-a-kind experience included weeklong, holistic, and well-rounded surf and yoga camps in none other than the beautiful Costa Rica! All of the proceeds from this item will go to supporting students within our programs, like our Water and Waste Campaigns.
Grades of Green is excited to inspire and empower kids around the globe to advocate for improving waste and water issues in their community. We plan on doing this through our Water and Waste Campaigns where we will continue to work one-on-one with student groups around the world to research water or waste issues in their community, come up with some innovative solutions to those environmental issues, and then educate their community on how to implement those solutions. This fall, Grades of Green will be working with student groups to develop customized water quality and water conservation solutions. Any student in grades 6th – 12th can participate for free, and the programs will be open to school groups, after school programs, sports teams, community teams, and more! The winning campaign teams will also receive a $500 grant to go toward expanding their innovative water solutions, and one grand prize winner will receive a $1,000 grant.
If you are interested in joining either of these movements, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on how you can get involved. Looking to get inspired? Here’s a video example from a past Water Campaign Team! When you’re ready to join our Water Campaign, click here to register.
This year, our Grades of Green Trash Free Lunch Challenge competition was extremely fierce. Although our panel of environmental experts could only choose one middle school and elementary school winner out of the 20 competing schools, each school overcame different obstacles and had their own unique accomplishments. Grades of Green celebrated each school with a personalized celebration, and the presentation of a certificate highlighting their best achievement in the program. Here’s how our runner-up schools celebrated completing the Trash Free Lunch Challenge so far:
South Pointe Middle School
South Pointe Middle School’s Grades of Green Advisor, Karen, presented awards and certificates to the Grades of Green Team student leaders during a live broadcast to the entire school. South Pointe Middle School reduced their waste by 87%!
Charles Helmers Elementary School
Charles Helmers Elementary School’s Grades of Green Advisor, Karen, presented awards during an afterschool assembly with the entire student body. Charles Helmers Elementary reduced their waste by 80%!
Our Lady of Guadalupe K-8
Our Lady of Guadalupe K-8’s Grades of Green Advisor, Robyn, presented the school’s awards during a morning assembly with the entire student body. City council member Stacey Armato congratulated the school on their environmental efforts and presented the Green Team with a certificate of recognition from the City of Hermosa Beach. Our Lady of Guadalupe K-8 reduced their waste by 63%!
Interested in starting a waste campaign in your school or community? Email email@example.com to learn how!