Meadows Elementary School

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Programs » Grades of Green/Recycling

Grades of Green/Recycling

Grades of Green is helping Meadows families become even more environmentally friendly than ever this year. All students participate in Trash Free Lunches every Tuesday and Wednesday, helping to decrease the amount of trash our school generates by up to 90% those days.  Every Wednesday morning our volunteers are at the Rowell gate stamping hands and handing out bracelets for Walk to School Wednesday, decreasing fuel usage and automotive emissions. Learn more ways you can go green at, the official nonprofit started by a group of Manhattan Beach parents. Please contact Lara Nurre if you’d like to be part of the green movement at Meadows.

Grades of Green also has a variety of programs to dispose of waste like batteries, cell phones, non-recyclable drink pouches and old tennis shoes properly.

Lastly, keep your eyes open for the upcoming Monthly Green Challenge; every student will have the opportunity to complete the challenge each month. Turn it in by the last Monday of the month, and your student will be put into a raffle to be pulled on the last Friday of the month. Great prizes for participating and all those small changes really add up for our environment!


Did you know that the average person in the U.S. consumes twice as many goods today as we did fifty years ago – and generates 4 ½ pounds of garbage every day, two times what we generated just thirty years ago? That is pretty horrifying when you think of our landfill legacy we’re leaving our children and grandchildren. The good thing is that there are some very easy ways to make small changes. If we all make a few small changes – like making a concerted effort for our Trash Free Tuesdays – that can add up to some big changes.

Every Trash Free Lunch we staff with parent volunteers helps save an average of 7-8 trash bags. It doesn’t matter if your child is packing lunch or buying, we help empty out milk cartons and juice boxes to recycle, fill the compost bucket with scraps of fruits and vegetables and stack the trays to be recycled. You can use some of our tricks every week for all the snacks, drinks and lunches you pack: start with minimizing use of juice boxes, plastic water bottles, zip top baggies and snack size portions with two or three layers of packaging. You can probably cut your daily trash in half with these little changes!

Here are some specifics (and suggestions for places to buy the basics if what you have isn’t quite working):

  Replace with:
Juice boxes,
plastic water bottles,
disposable milk boxes  
Reusable bottles and thermoses like those at, and
Zip top baggies  Wax paper, foil, reusable plastic containers,
Paper lunch bag  We all probably have a small fleet of reusable lunchboxes, but check out those at for a fantastic all-in-one option to support a local business. Order through Meadows again in the Springtime and we’ll earn $5 for each $30 lunchbox sold.



You can also drop off your old batteries, empty ink cartridges and used cell phones in the office in order to keep them out of our landfills (that sounds better than having heavy metals like cadmium and mercury leach into the soil and groundwater, doesn’t it?). Even better, we send the old cell phones and used ink cartridges to eScrip, so it’s an easy fundraiser for the Meadows PTA as well!

Empty Capri Sun and Honest Kids drink pouches are sent to to be turned into some really inventive products like fences, purses and pencil cases.