A Leader Returns
Younes, a Water Campaign alumni and Youth Environmental leadership Winner has returned for the 2018 Fall Water Campaign. Younes now leads his team of 34 students and counting in Morocco at George Washington Academy.
Last year, George Washington Academy’s Campaign Team fought to reduce plastic bottle usage at his school. The team conducted several activities, including a bottle drive, a taste-test competition between the school’s tap water versus bottled water, and hosted an environmental conference at the school to educate the entire school body about environmental issues and solutions.
Today, Younes met with Grades of Green Mentor, Jordan, to discuss the first steps of this year’s Water Campaign! With the team’s activism and enthusiasm, we foresee great things from the team and we can’t wait to find out their solutions and videos for this year!
The Niños del Sol School in Playas del Coco, a beach town in the northwestern Costa Rican province of Guanacaste, was featured in The Tico Times! The school was chosen as a semi-finalist in the Grades of Green Spring 2018 Water Challenge.
The Water Challenge is a global competition in which 136 student leaders at 40 schools from across the world design new ways to lead water conservation and water quality efforts in 33 cities and eight countries, Grades of Green told The Tico Times in an email.
The kids at Niños del Sol designed an innovative student-built graywater filtration system that seeks to clean water that drains from sinks, fountains and other sources. The system allows the water to be used safely in the school garden, thereby reducing the school’s water footprint.
In addition, kids at the alternative school are educating their community about the everyday actions that residents can carry out to save water, from taking shorter showers to eating less meat.
To check out the article directly, click here!
As many of you already know, April is Earth Month! This is the perfect time to get your friends and family to partake in a month-long resolution to help out the Earth!
So how do we start?
Simplify and Organize
In order to engage others in an environmental resolution, check out some tips from our “Spread the Word” webinar. These tips should be able to help you “simplify” your message and “organize” your activities and message!
First, focus on one thing that you and your friends can do to help out for Earth Month. You can aim to reduce water usage, plastic waste, compost more, or think of your own solution! If your resolution and activity can be simplified, it will be easier to engage people in one task for an entire month!
Second, share your activity with your community and tell them why you care! Earth Month is a time for everyone to act, from eco-leaders to people who are less environmentally active. Remember, every environmentalist started somewhere! By sharing why you care, you can inspire others to care with you!
Earth Month Resolutions!
This month, Grades of Green Advisors are engaging in their own resolutions!
– Jordan cares about food and the water wasted from food. This month, he is banning all red meats from his diet!
– Emily Stewart was worried about the plastic that came with her lunches from the delicious restaurants nearby. Her resolution is to make trash-free lunches for this entire month!
– Emily Gee wants to reduce our energy output! She is going to talk to her landlord about switching to energy efficient LED lightbulbs.
Share your resolutions with us on social media! Tag us @gradesofgreen on Instagram or Facebook!
Have a happy Earth Month everyone!
There is no better community event for Grades of Green than one focused on students! This week we attended two events in our community. Youth Corps eco-leader Leslie educated and inspired nearly one hundred teens and adults at Marine Teen Night at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach. She used Grades of Green’s Eco-Wheel to teach Aquarium guests interesting water, waste, toxins, energy, air, and earth facts. Many students were also interested in getting their school involved in Grades of Green’s Water Challenge, which is a great way to engage teens in environmental issues affecting their local water supply.
The Grades of Green team also hosted a short workshop with Amigos Unidos Manhattan Beach to train their teen volunteers on how to inspire and empower their peers to care for the environment. Twenty volunteers learned about the importance of waste reduction as well as simple things they could be doing to help care for the environment including reducing, reusing, recycling, and composting.
Are you inspired to care for the environment? Grades of Green is currently recruiting schools from across the globe to join our Spring 2018 Water Challenge! For more info, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org today.
Students and teachers at St. Roza in Uganda are taking initiative to help conserve the environment. Today we Skyped with the incredible students who are already planting trees around their community and neighborhoods, filtering drinking water and much more. Several students are members of Wildlife Club at their school whose motto is to ‘conserve nature’. Kids of all ages are being encouraged to conserve water by harvesting rainwater and reducing water misuse. So far, students at St. Roza have concluded that the majority of water in their community is used for home chores such as for cooking, cleaning, toiletry, and irrigation. After making this assessment, students are currently focused on finding innovative ways to cut down water usage for household activities! St. Roza is part of Grades of Green’s Water Challenge Pilot Program. Keep up with the students at St. Roza by referring to our blog. You can also follow in St. Roza’s footsteps by registering here and utilizing Grades of Green’s Earth Tips to spread the word on campus!
Do you love teaching about our forests in urban environments? Do citizen science projects tickle your fancy? If you are a K-12 educator or teacher in the Greater Los Angeles region, this could be your chance to acquire a grant ($400-$800) for piloting and sharing your lesson plans involving hands-on urban forestry activities. The Earthwatch Institute is offering several grants for lesson plans using the materials developed by its Urban Resiliency Program.
Start small, think big: native, drought-resistant gardens are one way to impact urban environments and increase resiliency at a smaller level of green space. Grades of Green’s “Drought Tolerant Garden” activity is an interactive lesson in water conservation, soil sustainable practices (for example, lowering pesticides and fertilizers used), and local biodiversity enrichment.
Lesson proposals are due by October 3, 2016, but keep in mind that the proposal should have pilot lessons plans for implementation in the classroom setting before February 1, 2017. The urban resiliency lesson plan should include an activity that collects urban tree data for analysis in the classroom. Apply here.
For more information about the grant, check out this document!
Need help tending your school’s garden? You can empower your students for caring about the environment by assembling a Grades of Green Team to work on a variety of green activities.