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By Brian Hews
Cecil B. Stowers Elementary School in Cerritos and Furguson ES in Hawaiian Gardens have been chosen to compete in the Grades of Green’s 5th Annual Trash Free Lunch Challenge (TFLC).
Since the Challenge began 5 years ago, over 74 schools have diverted 100,000 bags of trash. While the metrics speak to the success of participating schools in protecting our environment, the real results are the environmental values the students take home.
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.
Participating schools will ask students to eliminate trash by using reusable lunch containers, water bottles, and utensils, as well as cloth napkins. All students, including those who buy lunch, will be taught how to sort waste for recycling and composting. Through a combination of sorting and bringing reusable lunch containers, Challenge schools achieve a 72 percent average lunchtime waste diversion rate, with winning schools diverting over 92 percent!
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 school will receive a Grand Prize of a $1,000 education grant. The second- and third-place schools will receive $750 and $500, respectively.
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