Grades of Green had the honor of teaming up with Jack Johnson and his All At Once movement to promote Sustainable Local Food Systems and Plastic Free Initiatives at his concert at the Hollywood Bowl! As concert attendees made their way up the Hollywood Bowl trail, they were invited to visit the All At Once festival, which included a handful of Jack Johnson’s favorite Los Angeles nonprofit organizations. Guests were challenged to complete environmental actions, such as visiting a nonprofit booth, filling up a reusable bottle at the hydration station, and even purchasing carbon offsets to earn a reusable, stainless steel cup. The Grades of Green booth encouraged participants to take pledges to help the environment and spin our Eco-Wheel to learn interesting facts related to our 40+ Activities. Participants also learned how Grades of Green helps schools across southern California reduce their lunchtime waste by an average of 70% through our Trash Free Lunch Challenge, and how we empower students to implement an eco-activity from start to finish at their school through our Youth Corps Eco-Leadership Program.

Donations collected at the concert will be matched by Jack Johnson’s foundation. Didn’t get a chance to donate at the concert? All donations to Grades of Green will be matched by Jack Johnson’s foundation until September 1st – you can donate to Grades of Green by clicking here or on Venmo at @gradesofgreen!

Thank you to Jack Johnson and the Johnson Ohana Foundation for supporting Grades of Green since 2011 and helping us inspire and empower kids to care for the environment!

Lush highlighted Grades of Green’s Trash Free Lunch Challenge and our mission to inspire and empower kids to care for the environment. Thanks to their sponsorship, Grades of Green was able to help schools across southern California reduce their lunchtime waste by an average of 70%! Read the full story by clicking here, or you can view a PDF version here.

Interested in signing your school up for the Trash Free Lunch Challenge? Email us at info@gradesofgreen.org or call our office at (310) 607-0175 for more information!

Grades of Green wishes a very happy 11th anniversary to the Manhattan Beach Farmers Market! To celebrate, Grades of Green hosted a booth with our signature veggie stamping activity. Visitors were invited to create beautiful designs with veggie scraps while learning about the importance of reducing, reusing, recycling, and composting.

A few lucky attendees even got to meet Sam H., a Grades of Green Youth Corps Eco-Leader who is collecting used shoes at the Manhattan Beach Farmers Market all summer long! Sam wants to keep as many shoes out of landfills as possible by donating them to those in need of shoes. Since he began his shoe collection in 2011, Sam has collected over 17,000 pairs of shoes. At the 11th anniversary celebration alone, Sam was able to collect over 300 pairs of shoes! You can read more about Sam’s shoe collection as well as his goal of collecting 25,000 shoes by clicking here. If you have unwanted shoes you would like to donate, please place them in the designated shoe collection bins at the Manhattan Beach Farmers Market on Tuesdays from 11am to 5pm.

Can’t make it to the Farmers Market? Donate used shoes at Tabula Rasa in Manhattan Beach from July 14 – 16 and receive a discount on your purchase! Tabula Rasa is generously offering special discounts in the store, and the discount gets better and better the more pairs of shoes you donate. Learn more about this limited time offer by clicking here.

All shoe donations to Tabula Rasa and the Manhattan Beach Farmers Market will help Sam reach his goal of collecting 25,000 pairs of shoes and will ultimately go to those in need of shoes. Thank you to the Manhattan Beach Farmer’s Market and Tabula Rasa for supporting Sam in his quest to keep used shoes out of landfills!

Grades  of Green is thrilled to welcome our summer intern, Gunner! Check out his story below to learn about how his passions help Grades of Green carry out its mission to inspire and empower students to care for their environment.

Gunner is an intern at the Grades of Green’s LA office. He is on track to graduate from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo in March of 2018 and will earn a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Earth Science with a concentration in Environmental Assessment. Throughout his educational career, he has gained knowledge in the complexities of Earth systems and understands how essential it is that humans protect the environment. After graduating from Cal Poly, he would like to work on developing sustainable technologies that would help preserve Earth’s Environmental systems. Gunner is eager to join the Grades of Green team and hopes he can help them empower youth to care the environment by supporting Grades of Green’s Youth Corps Eco-Leadership ProgramTrash Free Lunch Challenge, and 40+ Eco-Activities.

Interested in volunteering or becoming an intern with Grades of Green? Email info@gradesofgreen.org for more information.

Grades of Green wishes a happy summer break to both students and teachers alike! To kick off summer, we hosted a booth at the Aquarium of the Pacific on Teacher Family Day. Teachers were able to learn about Grades of Green’s free environmental programs such as the Trash Free Lunch Challenge and Youth Corps Eco Leadership Program as well as Grades of Green’s 40+ Eco-Activities. Attendees also got to enjoy a fun veggie-stamping activity led by  Youth Corps Eco-Leaders Rylee G., Misha H. and Cosmo H., while learning about the importance of reducing, reusing, and recycling! Interested in bringing some environmental programs into your school? Click here to register with Grades of Green and unlock our 40+ Activities for inspiration!

Did you know over 300 million children in the world can’t afford shoes, yet millions of shoes are dumped into landfills each year? Sam H., a Grades of Green Youth Corps Eco-Leadership student, wanted to do something about this problem. Since 2011 when he first joined the Youth Corps, Sam has worked Grades of Green and Soles 4 Souls to collect used shoes and donate them to those in need. His goal is to collect 25,000 pairs of shoes before he starts college this fall and if he succeeds, he will earn a trip to Africa to visit those who benefited from his shoe collection. After six years of hard work, Sam managed to collect 17,000 pairs of shoes – and he only needs 8,000 more to reach his goal!

This summer Sam is partnering with Grades of Green and the Manhattan Beach Farmers Market for one final push to complete his goal, but we need your help! Please bring any unwanted used shoes to the designated collection bins located at the Manhattan Beach Farmers Market on Tuesdays from 11am – 5pm. These bins will be available all summer long, and all shoes will go to supporting Sam’s goal. Want to learn more about Sam’s shoe collection and play some fun and educational activities during your next visit to the Manhattan Beach Farmers Market? Be sure to visit the Grades of Green booth during the Manhattan Beach Farmers Market Anniversary on July 11th – we hope to see you there with your used shoes!

Want to take an an eco-activity like Sam? Click here to learn more about Grades of Green’s Youth Corps Eco-Leadership Program!

Manhattan Beach Middle School shared some great news with us lately! In a recent e-newsletter, MBMS celebrated the installation of a couple of water refill stations. Several passionate students organized the fundraising efforts, including Youth Corps student Sydney H. She ran 3 separate e-waste drives, where the e-waste collection company paid for the e-waste Sydney collected to be recycled properly. Thanks to the newly installed hydration stations, MBMS will do their part to forgo using single-use plastic water bottles, which contributes to 8 million tons of plastic waste that ends up polluting our oceans.

Do you want your school to cut back on single-use plastic water bottles? Taking on Grades of Green’s Water Refill Station activity will surely help your cause! A water refill station can be as simple and low-cost as an insulated water jug! To access downloadable resources (such as our hydration station signage that you can print out for your own station) and more, please register here.

6th graders Maxine and Elise started the 2016-2017 school year with a vision to create a drought tolerant garden at their middle school. The girls joined the Grades of Green Youth Corps Eco-Leadership program, and made their dream come to life! The power team worked with their administration for approval and to select a location on campus for the garden. After months of fundraising, creating a plan, meeting with district maintenance members to get the garden up and running, and researching the best plants to include in their garden, the M.E. Garden was born! The M.E. Garden stands for mindfulness and education. The drought tolerant garden was created to compliment the science teacher’s curriculum, and includes a variety of drought resistant plants that serve as pollinators, while being native to the area. Maxine and Elise followed the National Wildlife guidelines on creating a drought tolerant garden, and received a National Wildlife Certification for the garden! Interested in leading an environmental activity at your school like Elise and Maxine? Applications are now open for the 2017-2018 Youth Corps Eco-Leadership Program – click here to learn more!

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!

 

Grades of Green is proud to congratulate the exceptional students who participated in the 2016-2017 Youth Corps Eco-Leadership program! Over the weekend the students and their families gathered for a celebration event to conclude the year. The celebration took place at TreePeople’s beautiful space, and delivered a fun filled afternoon including a yummy lunch provided by Fresh Brothers and Grow, a photo booth, games, and presentations from each Youth Corps Eco-Leader about the Grades of Green Activity they implemented in their school community over the past year. In the past nine months, Youth Corps leaders have accomplished some amazing environmental feats including installing drought tolerant gardens at their schools, rolling out No Idle Zone programs, teaching Eco-Lessons in their classrooms, launching Grades of Green Teams, and more.

Each student was presented with a certificate of recognition from Grades of Green, as well as a certificate from their respective Los Angeles County District office. In addition, the Grades of Green Youth Corps Eco-Leadership program was honored to be presented with a certificate of congressional recognition from Ted Lieu’s office of California’s 33rd district. To check out photos from the celebration, click here!

This year’s Youth Corps Eco-Leaders are leading the way in environmental stewardship, and we could not be more proud! Thank you to the incredible sponsors who help us make this program possible: Arconic Foundation, City of Santa Monica, Murad Family Foundation, Earth Friendly Products, County of Los Angeles 3rd district, Metropolitan Water District, Beach Cities Health District, the Vanderbilt Family Foundation, and Southern California Edison.

Are you a 4th-12th grade student located in the greater Los Angeles area who is interested in applying for the 2016-2017 Youth Corps Eco-Leadership program? Applications are open now! Click here to apply!