After months of sorting lunchtime waste, hosting educational assemblies on waste reduction, and packing trash free lunches, Grades of Green’s 7th annual Trash Free Lunch Challenge finalist schools have been selected – with all schools, including Charles Helmers and Skyblue Mesa elementary schools, diverting a whopping 463 tons of waste from local landfills.
20 schools located in the greater Los Angeles area entered the Trash Free Lunch Challenge in fall 2017 to see which school could divert the most waste and best inspire their student body to adopt lifelong waste reduction habits. Grades of Green provided each school with a personalized advisor, leadership training webinars for student leaders, an educational assembly, an eco-starter kit, and a customized waste reduction plan. Grades of Green Team student leaders ask peers to reduce trash by bringing reusable lunch containers and using lunchtime sorting stations; forming habits that will protect the environment for years to come.
As in past years, the schools exceeded expectations. The Trash Free Lunch Challenge schools collectively diverted over 46,300 bags of trash from local landfills – and more impressive than trash bag reduction is the students that made it happen. The schools educated over 13,000 students on waste reduction. Each of these students, including those who buy lunch, learned to sort waste into share box/food donation, compost, liquids, recyclables, landfill waste, and tray stacking. This year’s Challenge schools achieved a 66% percent average lunchtime waste diversion rate.
The finalist schools from the elementary school category and middle school category are:
Elementary Schools (in no particular order): Charles Helmers Elementary (Santa Clarita)
Our Lady of Guadalupe K-8 (Hermosa Beach) Victor Elementary School (Torrance)
Middle Schools (in no particular order):
Helen Keller dual immersion Middle School (Long Beach) Oak Middle School (Los Alamitos)
South Pointe Middle School (Walnut)
Environmental Experts from the Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County, Northrop Grumman, the County of Los Angeles Sustainability department, Algalita Marine Research and Education, Surfrider – South Bay Chapter and others will sit on the Trash Free Lunch Challenge Judges Panel. The panel will meet and discuss each of the finalist school’s applications in late March to decide upon a winner. The winning elementary and middle school will each receive a $1,000 education grants to continue their environmental programs.
Grades of Green will also be awarding the following recognitions to these participants:
Berkeley Hall K-8 (Los Angeles) – Best Compost Award
Carthay Center Elementary (Los Angeles) – Litter Busters Award
Castle Rock Elementary (Diamond Bar)– Best Recycling Award
Cyrus J. Morris Elementary (Walnut) – Best Education Award
Evelyn Carr Elementary (Torrance)– Best Green Team Award
F.D. Roosevelt Elementary (Lawndale) – Best Food Recovery Award
Gaspar de Portola Middle School (Tarzana) – City Leaders Award
Jackie Robinson Academy K-8 (Long Beach) – Green Leaders of Tomorrow Award Nettie L. Waite Middle School (Norwalk)– Most Determined Award
Overland Elementary (Los Angeles) – Greenest Community Award
St. Anthony K-8 (Long Beach)– Green Stewards Award Skyblue Mesa Elementary (Canyon Country) – Community Activists Award
Whittier Elementary (Long Beach)– Most Inspirational
William F. Prisk Elementary (Long Beach) – Super Sorters Award
“The goal of the Trash Free Lunch Challenge is not only to reduce waste but also to teach children how to reuse, recycle and compost. Educating students through programs such as these furthers our mission of converting waste into resources in the communities we serve,” said Grace Robinson Hyde, Sanitation Districts’ Chief Engineer and General Manager.
“We are so impressed with the student leadership at our Trash Free Lunch Challenge schools,” said Allie Bussjaeger, Grades of Green’s Director of Regional Programs. “These students have gone above and beyond to inspire their campus communities to reduce waste. From delivering classroom presentations, to hosting grade level competitions, to making educational videos, these students are making waste reduction easy and fun!”
What is Grades of Green’s Trash Free Lunch Challenge?
Grades of Green’s Trash Free Lunch Challenge is a yearlong competition where Southern California schools challenge each other to see which school can reduce the most lunchtime waste. Grades of Green teaches students to reduce trash by bringing reusable lunch containers and using lunchtime waste sorting systems. This ultimately forms habits that will protect the environment for years to come. Through fun, educational assemblies, personalized eco-starter kits, waste reduction plans, and Grades of Green Advisors available to personally guide each school, Grades of Green helps create an environment where every school can be a winner! A panel of environmental experts will evaluate the implementation and success of the three finalists’ trash reduction programs. The winning schools (one elementary and one middle school) will receive a Grand Prize of a $1,000 education grant. Click here to learn more about the Challenge.
Sponsors of the Trash Free Lunch Challenge include: Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County, Lush Cosmetics, Northrop Grumman, Kings Care Foundation, Los Angeles County 4th District, Carton Council, and the Johnson Ohana Charitable Foundation.
About Grades of Green
GRADES OF GREEN is an environmental education nonprofit dedicated to providing parents, students and educators with free, fun and hands-on Grades of Green Activities to inspire and empower students to care for the environment. Anyone wanting to implement sustainability programs can register their school online—at no cost—to gain access to step-by-step instructions to 40+ Grades of Green Activities, including downloadable games, resources, and artwork, and measure their environmental progress. Even better? Every Grades of Green school receives a one-on-one Grades of Green Advisor to mentor the school as they implement Grades of Green Activities. Join the 511,000+ students and 650+ schools in our green school movement and register at gradesofgreen.org today.
About the Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County
The Sanitation Districts are a regional agency consisting of 24 independent special districts serving over 5.6 million people in 78 cities and unincorporated territory within Los Angeles County. The Sanitation Districts protect public health and the environment through innovative and cost-effective wastewater and solid waste management, and in doing so convert waste into resources such as recycled water, energy, and recycled materials.
For more information on the Sanitation Districts, please visit www.lacsd.org or contact Wendy Wert at 562.908.4288 X2308.
SACRAMENTO — State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond on Wednesday called on California’s cross-sector partners to accelerate investments that can help all California students access the technology they need to succeed academically in all educational settings.
A task force led by the Los Angeles County Office of Education on Wednesday released a schools reopening plan for the 2020-21 academic year during the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced the physical closure in March of all K-12 campuses in the region.
SACRAMENTO — State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced Thursday a new collaborative online campaign, “Advance SEL in California,” to engage educators, school leaders, and families in a wider conversation about how to advance, elevate, and spur action on Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) in California.
L.A. County Board of Supervisors Chair Kathryn Barger proclaimed a state of emergency in the county Sunday, as the sheriff sets a 6 p.m. curfew countywide to address widespread unrest following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed Sunday 1,379 new cases of COVID-19 and 25 new deaths due to the virus countywide, and a total of 1,547 cases reported in the Santa Clarita Valley since the pandemic began, 89 more than Saturday.
Using diluted bleach on a cloth wipe, I clean all sinks, counters, knobs, buttons, light switches, ground phones, faucets, remote controls, keyboards, mouse and table tops. Takes me five minutes. Everyone should be doing this.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed Saturday 2,112 new cases of COVID-19 and 48 new deaths due to the virus countywide, and a total of 1,458 cases reported in the Santa Clarita Valley since the pandemic began, 152 more than reported Friday.
One morning, it was pea-soup foggy as I thumped across an aged railroad trestle while the sun rose, casting stick-like tree shadows across my path. Momentarily entranced by the scene, I suddenly realized I was running through a swarm of small flies.
WASHINGTON (CN) — Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the liberal wing of the Supreme Court in a late-night ruling Friday declining to block California’s restrictions on reopening places of worship amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The Los Angeles County Treasurer and Tax Collector is in the process of mailing Notices of Delinquency to property owners who have not paid their property taxes in full for the 2019-20 tax year. Delinquent taxes from the 2019-20 tax year will default if payment is not received by 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time or postmarked by the United States Postal Service before midnight on Tuesday, June 30, 2020.
The city of Santa Clarita's Planning Commissioners will consider extending the timeframe for a 90,900-square-foot business development on Sierra Highway and hear public comments on a proposed 375-unit residential development in Saugus at the commission's next meeting on Tuesday, June 2, starting at 6 p.m.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed Friday 1,824 new cases of COVID-19 and 50 new deaths due to the virus countywide, and a total of 1,306 cases reported in the Santa Clarita Valley since the pandemic began, 122 more than reported Thursday.
The COVID-19 pandemic has required people to stay at home as much as possible. For those in abusive households, “Safer at Home” orders heightened the risk factors associated with child maltreatment, domestic violence and sexual assault.