Long Beach's Lindbergh STEM Academy won Grades of Green's 2016-2017 Trash Free Lunch Challenge, contest organizers announced recently.

The Trash Free Lunch Challenge is a year-long competition that challenges schools in the Los Angeles area to compete with each other by reducing their lunchtime waste.

The organization uses assemblies and waste-reduction plans to teach students about recycling, composting and forming healthier habits to better our environment.

Since September, Lindbergh STEM Academy students diverted 92% of their lunchtime waste by setting up three sorting stations in the lunch area, which provided a platform for the students to efficiently separate their trash, according to Allie Bussjaeger, representative at Grades of Green.

The school also encouraged students to opt for reusable items — like water bottles and Tupperware — instead of disposable items like plastic snack bags.

Grades of Green is a nonprofit started in California to promote environmental awareness in school-aged children. For more information, visit gradesofgreen.org.

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