Evergreen Packaging, a leader in beverage paperboard carton manufacturing, today announced the winners of its inaugural Carton 2 Garden™ contest. Carton 2 Garden is a nationwide competition that gives students hands-on experience in repurposing empty milk or juice cartons to build or enhance their school gardens. Classroom groups were required to collect at least 100 cartons of any size, including cartons from the school cafeteria or from home. Materials other than cartons were allowed in the creations, but renewable, natural materials were strongly suggested. Teams also had to submit up to 10 photos of their creation process.
The national winners of the contest are as follows:
- • Cordova Middle School (Memphis, Tennessee) – Students built a replica of a paddleboat on the Mississippi River and learned about preventing pollution throughout the process.
- • College Career & Technology Academy (Pharr, Texas) – Housed in a former Walmart store, these students had to build their garden indoors, which presented a unique set of challenges such as creating a sustainable garden with minimum landscaping capabilities.
- • Wallenpaupack South Elementary School (Newfoundland, Pennsylvania) – To build their garden and learn more about sustainable gardening practices, students organized a Skype session with growers in Kenya who provided insight on farming and gardening methods. They also donated their tomato plants to a local church food pantry.
- • Vanderlyn Elementary School (Dunwoody, Georgia) – The contest inspired students to partner with a local nature center dedicated to saving Monarch butterflies to build a pollinator garden illustrating the life cycle of a butterfly.
"Encouraging students to learn more about eco-friendly practices is one of the reasons we are committed to programs such as Carton 2 Garden," said Katie Simmons, marketing manager for Evergreen Packaging. "Each entry highlights connections between sustainability and recycling, and it was amazing to see the different approaches applied by each school team. Not only did the contest provide important teachable moments, it also inspired students to find new uses for everyday objects."
Nearly 150 schools across the country submitted entries to be judged on specific criteria, such as adherence to contest rules, creativity, use of sustainable materials and visual representation. Schools were also encouraged to include a video or slideshow depicting their creation process from beginning to end. These videos were used to qualify entries to win national prizes. All entries were judged by a panel consisting of representatives from KidsGardening.org.
"Carton 2 Garden was created to provide an incentive for children to learn valuable lessons about recycling and reusing everyday products," said Jennifer Tedeschi, Chief Operating Officer at KidsGardening.org. "Seeing their enthusiasm and the benefits of school gardens in action really reinforces this contest as an important educational tool."
Sixteen additional schools were recognized at the regional level for their carton garden creations, including:
Elementary School Winners (K-5)
- • Madison Elementary, Mesa, Arizona - "The 'Green' Tractor"
- • Windermere Elementary School, Windermere, Florida – "Keep on Track, Grow and Thrive"
- • Prairie View Elementary, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – "Hobbiton Garden"
- • Pi Academy, Erie, Pennsylvania – "Milk Carton Rain Barrel"
- • Jackson STEM Dual Language Magnet Academy, Altadena, California – "Bee Sustainable"
- • Osborne Elementary School, Sewickley, Pennsylvania – "Milk Carton Bird Bath"
- • Idlewild Elementary School, Memphis, Tennessee – "Walking in 'Moo'mphis"
- • Lincoln Elementary School, Madison, Wisconsin – "Lincoln's Buzz Inn"
Middle/High School Winners (6-12)
- • Noxon Public School, Noxon, Montana – "Well and Healthy"
- • Trafalgar Middle School, Cape Coral, Florida – "Trafalgar Middle Garden Club"
- • Timber Academy High School, College Station, Texas – "Garden of Milk and Honey"
- • Humboldt High School, St. Paul, Minnesota – "Mid Evil Explosion"
- • Rancho Dominguez Preparatory School, Long Beach, California – "Windmill Tower"
- • Crockett Middle School, Hamilton, New Jersey – "USS Crockett"
- • Avon Lenox School, Memphis, Tennessee – "Shout Out Memphis – Gardening with a Purpose"
- • Riverside Middle School, Watertown, Wisconsin – "RMS Vertical Gardens"
The next Carton 2 Garden contest will take place in spring 2016. For more information on the contest, and to see other ways Evergreen Packaging is promoting eco-friendly habits to school-age children, visit www.carton2garden.com.
About Evergreen Packaging®
Evergreen Packaging is a global leader in creating fiber-based packaging solutions customized to deliver product freshness and brand distinction. Evergreen Packaging is a vertically integrated packaging company, delivering total solutions of barrier paperboard, technical expertise, equipment and service.
Evergreen Packaging cartons have the eco-friendly attributes consumers want: more than 85 percent of the carton is made from paper derived from a renewable resource: trees. Cartons are also recyclable for an increasing number of households. In addition, our cartons are made with renewable energy – over 50% of the energy used to make the paper in our carton comes from biomass.
KidsGardening.org is a resource of the National Gardening Association, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization based in Williston, Vt. Their mission is to empower every generation to lead healthier lives, build stronger communities, and encourage environmental stewardship through educational gardening programs. Beginning with 50 youth garden grants in 1982, KidsGardening.org has delivered over 10,000 grants and awards, benefiting an estimated 2 million youth gardeners. To learn more and support their efforts visit www.KidsGardening.org.