Institute for Sustainable Development
Cookbook Cover photo

March 2016 ~
Sherwood Montessori 1st Place Winners in both the K-6th and 7-8th Grade Categories

Los Molinos students

March 2016 ~
Los Molinos took 1st Place in the High School Category

It's your sustainable future!


Our Sustainable Future - CSU, Chico

K-12 Greenie Award Nominees

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Paul Persons Award Featured Film - Time to Choose
K-12 Greenie Awards Higher Ed Greenie Awards
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2017 K-12 Greenie Nominees

With sponsorship by the Rawlins Endowment for Environmental Literacy, through our Greenie Awards we will recognize student groups in their successful efforts of working toward a sustainable future.
You are all winners!!

Kindergarten - 6th Grade


School Garden Cookbook
Sherwood Montessori: Grow, Cook, Share Program

See Project Video

All of the K-6 age children at Sherwood Montessori are involved, hands-on, in the planting, nurturing and harvesting of food in our school garden. The food is used in recipes the kids develop and then publish in school cookbooks. Grow-Cook-Share was the last book and had 20 original recipes. The book (and web site) we're working on now is called Saladology. Sustainable life skills are learned and sustainable education is at the core of this program. Reduce, reuse, recycle and farm to fork are central elements of the program. We are also working on an edible insects subdivision. The Grow-Cook-Share Cookbook was presented at Slow Food International's Terra Madre Conscious Food Conference in September 2016 in Torino, Italy, the second time we presented a cookbook there (the first was Grow-Cook-Eat in 2014). Grow-Cook-Share was presented to Slow Food members from about 100 countries and copies are now on 6 continents. Alice Waters has a copy and a copy is in the library of the Edible Schoolyard, a model we share with her and her people.


Decrease Items Going to Landfill
Notre Dame School, Eco Club

The students of Notre Dame School’s Eco Club want to to present an “Eco Week” for the school body during the week of March 6-10. The goal of this Eco Week is to educate the student body about ways to reduce waste going into the landfill. The club members will present/demonstrate: facts about recycling and waste alternatives to “one-use” items proper sorting of compost, recycle, and landfill items in the school lunchroom (including updated sorting posters) create a school ECO award to recognize eco-friendly choices in our schoolmates, and have monthly drawings/recognition at school assemblies Through these activities, the students at Notre Dame school will make more earth-friendly, educated choices and reduce our contributions to the landfill.


Jr. High, 7th-8th Grade


School Gardening Beautification
Butte County Office of Eduation's After School Program
Central Middle School’s after school program was recognized by the State of California as having a Distinguished After School Healthy Program. This new award was given out to the programs that excel in providing health education, nutrition and physical activities for students. Central promotes healthy eating among students by encouraging students to eat fruits and vegetable and they grow as many as they can in their school garden. The garden was put in place by a grant several years ago and flourished with the help from student volunteers. Currently the garden is in a need of a facelift. Students would like to see their garden area be more of a place where students can come together. This would become a better alternative as opposed to Taco Bell, which is located across the street from the school. Students could visit, tend to the garden, enjoy time together in a more beautiful place, and possibly even take home the produce. Students who are involved in the project have mentioned not having access to fruits and vegetables on a regular basis, or ever really, due to insufficient funds to pay for them. By getting this garden up and running again, it could produce fruits and vegetables that students could help grow and nurture and then take home. To add more beauty to the garden area, students would like to add a mural, a few benches, and trees. This renovation will only increase its use, productivity, and sustainability since the garden is already several years old.


High School, 9-12th Grade

GROUP CANCELED - Youth Participatory Action Research Project
Las Plumas High School, Advanced Culinary Group

School lunch programs address equity issues by providing lunches at a free or reduced rate to students in need. Students who participate in these programs often perform better in school and have better attendance. These lunches are often high in necessary nutrients, vitamins and minerals yet are highly processed. Alan Vondermehen, a culinary teacher at Las Plumas High School in Oroville CA, has changed the food service system at the school by introducing a smoker. Students are offered the choice of pulled pork sandwiches and other smoked meats which helps the environment by cutting down on transportation and packaging, supporting a more local food environment. The students in Alan’s advanced culinary class want to conduct research to determine whether or not this smoker is in fact making a positive impact on the school and the environment. The students will create a survey and interview their peers to find the answer to the following questions: Are the students enjoying the smoked meat choices? Did the students notice the change? Are students more likely to purchase the school hot lunches due to the new smoker? Students will analyze these results and collect data via Survey Monkey. If more students participate in the school lunch program as a result, this may be a model to share with food services programs throughout the state. Students may benefit from locally smoked products without realizing their contribution to their health and the environment by simply making the more delicious choice. School food service programs may benefit from increased usage of their program.


Full and Complete Food Drive
Los Molinos High School, FFA Group

View Project Video

Los Molinos High School students in Katie Tenneson’s classroom have brought a 1200 square foot greenhouse to their school and look forward to a multitude of fresh fruits and vegetables this coming summer with help from their Greenie Award winning project last year. They continue to promote projects in their community that support equity and green concepts. Last summer students went to Washington DC and packaged over 50,000 meals-in-a -bag for homeless families. They are bringing this idea, an equitable distribution of food, back to their own small rural community of less than 2600 residents. With donations from the North State Food Bank they are striving to make sure that no one in Los Molinos has to face an empty pantry. On February 15 they will host their own assembly line in their campus gym packaging meals for families, calling it the Los Molinos FFA Full and Complete Food Drive. Each family that benefits from the Full & Complete Food Drive will receive the ingredients to “fill” their pantry; including grains and beans, that together form a complete amino acid. Amino acids are essential for a healthy mind and body, and a full pantry lends itself to a full heart. The sustainability circle created by the Full and Complete Food Drive includes the families that are being helped, their school and work productivity. By providing families with nutrient dense meals, students may be able to concentrate better and may lead to higher participation in class. In addition, parents can go to work without stressing about how to supply their family with food. Students want to encourage others in their community to join the mission and ensure that all families in Los Molinos are “Full and Complete.”


Students will have an opportunity to present their group projects on Friday, March 24th from 8:00-11:00 am in the Colusa Hall, Room 100B. Conference participants will be asked to visit each display, meet the students, learn about their projects, and vote for their favorite group projects. Winners will be announced starting at 11:00 am in Colusa Hall, Room 100B.

One cash prize in each category will be awarded as follows:

1st Place Winner $200
2nd Place Winner $150
3rd Place Winner $100

Winners in each category will be encouraged to submit a video and poster to be used in the next This Way to Sustainability Conference (March 2018) documenting how the 2017 cash award supported or enhanced their winning project by the deadline of January 1, 2018.

Note:     Award payments will be made to the teacher or advisor leading the student group project with this written, signed acknowledgement in agreement in advance of awards being issued.

Judging Criteria:

  1. Does the project address the “3 E’s of Sustainability”: Economy, Ecology, and Equity?
  2. Can the project sustain itself? In other words, what resources are used to maintain and implement the project?
  3. Are other organizations able to replicate the sustainable project?
  4. What is the scale of impact of the sustainable project?  (Campus, city, town, state, etc.)
  5. Is synergy demonstrated as a result of the project? In other words, does the project support broader goals in sustainable development?
  6. Only one winner per category will be awarded. Tie breakers will be broken at the discretion of conference management.

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Nominated K-12 student group projects must meet the following guidelines:

  1. Nominations from Northern CA K-12 schools only.
  2. Nominated student group projects only; individual projects are not being considered.
  3. Nominated student groups must have clearly demonstrated an accomplishment or a significant improvement focusing on a sustainable solution that they have implemented through their project, research, school or community involvement, or other means.
  4. The accomplishment must have occurred within the past two years.
  5. The accomplishment may be in the final planning stages but must be conceptually complete.
  6. Student groups will be asked to present their project accomplishments at a tabling session at Colusa Hall during the conference on Friday, March 24, 2017 from 8:00-11:00 a.m. where final voting will take place.
  7. Nominees must be present to win.
  8. Groups are strongly encouraged to provide a video (3 minutes maximum in length on flash drive at the conference) documenting their project to be shown prior to the final voting at Colusa Hall during the conference. This should be a fun, entertaining way of presenting your project to the conference audience.
  9. Nominated groups will be contacted by conference staff to confirm the status of their nominations by February 1, 2017.
  10. Winners will be announced during the Greenie Awards Ceremony starting at 11:00 am on Friday, March 24th at Colusa Hall.
  11. Submitted videos will be included on this web page starting March 1, 2017 to give participants a preview of the student group projects they will be able to see and vote on when they arrive at the conference.

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