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Can Your Lunch Go Trash Free?

Grades of Green’s annual Trash Free Lunch Challenge (TFLC) seeks to see which Los Angeles County area school can reduce its lunchtime trash the most. This fun and engaging competition now has 28 new schools that are competing to reduce lunchtime waste. Collectively, they will divert thousands of bags of trash destined for landfills this year alone. Even more importantly, it will teach kids better habits that will protect the environment in the years to come.

Celebration ceremony on Earth Day 2013 at the winning school, Lunada Bay Elementary
Photo courtesy of Ken Pagliaro

One funder of the project that is particularly close to our hearts is 1% for the Planet member Wean Green.  Wean Green is a Canadian company that strives to create baby products that will not harm a child’s heath and are convenient for Mom to carry around.  One of the specialties of Wean Green (and part of their in-kind donation to TFLC!) is their tempered glassware.


In addition to the actual waste reduction that resulted from the 2012-13 Challenge year (19,980 bags being diverted from the landfill collectively by the 14 schools participating that year), students and the broader school community have learned about the importance of waste reduction, and simple things they can do at home or at school to care for the environment.  This year 28 schools are competing, which Grades of Green expects to result in thousands more bags being diverted from landfills.


What does success look like? The Trash Free Lunch Challenge may be located in Los Angeles; however, the goal to be a trash-free school can be accomplished by any school across the globe by using their easy-to-implement Trash Free Tuesdays activity! This activity gives schools the resources needed to educate the school community how to reduce lunchtime waste. Their goal this year is to impact not only the 28 Los Angeles schools, but schools across the globe to begin school lunchtime waste reduction programs. All of the lessons and activities are available for free on their website.

Winning school, Lunada Bay, with their Trash Tracker, Grand Prize check from Chevron, and lunchbox trophy being held by Disney star Landry Bender.
Photo courtesy of Ken Pagliaro

Interested in getting involved with TFLC? Encourage your school to become trash-free! The easy-to-use “how-to’s” and fun activities are available on the Grades of Green webpage for free! We encourage you to register as a Grades of Green school and start inspiring the next generation today.

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