Finalists of Second Annual L.A. County Trash-Free Lunch Challenge Announced

April 2nd, 2013 by

LAcarGUY is a proud sponsor of the Grades of Green Trash-Free Lunch Challenge and last week, three South Bay elementary schools were named finalists: Lunada Bay Elementary, Riviera Elementary and Washington Elementary. The contest, which is also sponsored by the Sanitation Districts of L.A. County and the Johnson Ohana Charitable Foundation, teaches kids to reduce trash by using reusable lunch containers and by sorting compostable and recyclable materials.

Trash-Free Lunch Challenge

Lunada Bay Elementary in Palos Verdes, Riviera Elementary in Torrance, and Washington Elementary in Redondo Beach were selected from a group of 17 entrants countywide.

A judging panel of five environmental experts will visit the three schools to select the winner on Tuesday, April 16, and the winning school will be honored with a celebration on Earth Day, Monday, April 22. All schools will receive education grants from Chevron. The winning school will receive a $1,000 grant. The second and third runners-up will receive a $750 grant and a $500 grant, respectively.

“All three finalists have achieved amazing results, so this is going to be one tough competition,” said Grace Robinson Chan, Sanitation Districts’ Chief Engineer and General Manager. “The three finalists in this year’s Trash-Free Lunch Challenge cut their trash destined for landfills by nearly 90% on average, which shows the astonishing potential for this program. It’s teaching kids how to protect the environment now and in the years to come.”

“Once we show kids how simple and how important it is to reduce waste, they get excited about the difference they can make, and start new habits that will carry with them for life,” said Lisa Coppedge, Grades of Green Co-Founder and Director of Programs. “Not only are they protecting the environment, they’re saving money for both their parents and their schools.” Coppedge noted that reduced trash pick-up fees saves thousands of dollars for each school that implements the Trash Free Lunch program.
The Trash-Free Lunch Challenge judging panel includes Alisha Auringer, Environmental and Sustainability Coordinator, LAcarGUY; Marieta Francis, Executive Director, Algalita Marine Research Foundation; Abby Landers, El Segundo High School Grades of Green club president and Youth Board Advisor for Grades of Green; Michelle Nakamura, Operations Manager, 5 Gyres Institute; and Rupam Soni, Senior Environmental Engineer, Sanitation Districts of L.A. County.

Schools are encouraged to implement Grades of Green’s Trash Free Lunch program at any time. There are also 40 other environmental activities with complete instructions available at no cost to schools at