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Carton 2 Garden Contest

Prizes to USA PreK-12 Schools for Creative Repurposing
of Milk and Juice Cartons in School Gardens

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

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Evergreen Packaging - Kids Gardening

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Prizes to USA PreK-12 schools for imaginative use of repurposed juice and milk cartons in creating or enhancing a school garden. The contest is intended to encourage educators to teach their students by means of hands-on activities about recycling, sustainability, and environmental stewardship.

The 2018-2019 Carton 2 Garden Contest provides educators with an opportunity to teach students about environmental stewardship, recycling, and repurposing materials, and how those concepts can have an impact on the lives of people, other creatures, and our environment. The Carton 2 Garden effort is focused on helping to facilitate teachable moments through hands-on educational experiences in a garden setting. Through lessons and an activity guide, opportunities are provided for learning to better care for the planet through repurposing and recycling.

Over 70% of each milk or juice carton is made from trees, a renewable resource, and cartons are recyclable for over 50% of households in the US. In addition to recycling, milk and juice cartons can be repurposed. This contest encourages kids to use their imaginations to repurpose their milk and juice cartons into a creation that fosters environmental stewardship and focuses on establishing school gardens. Examples of students’ creations include carton planters, garden art, scarecrows, window boxes, and irrigation systems.

Four of the 15 prizes awarded are designated as specialty prizes:

1) The Carton Art in the Garden prize will be awarded to the school with the best display of creative arts.

2) The Environmental Stewardship prize will be awarded to the school that best demonstrates use of sustainability practices and development of environmental awareness.

3) The Health and Nutrition prize will be awarded to the school that best incorporates lessons on healthy eating and lifestyle behaviors.

4) The STEM prize will be awarded to the school that demonstrates the best use of science, technology, engineering, and math lessons in their project.

How to Enter:

Assign a classroom, teacher, or student team to be in charge of the project and start gathering cartons. Have students draw up sketches of their ideas, then vote as a group on which one to make. Collect at least 100 cartons to use in the garden creation. Each project must use a minimum of 100 cartons. Any cartons will be accepted, including cartons from the school cafeteria or from the grocery store. While the more cartons used the better, winners are still selected for the best use of cartons in gardens, with the grand prize and specialty winners focusing on the carton drive, uniqueness, STEM, sustainability emphasis, and health and nutrition incorporation.

Gather materials, assign tasks, and implement the project. Finally, submit an entry based on the new garden creation.

Supporting materials may be used, but should only comprise a small percentage of the final creation. Supporting materials made of natural, renewable resources (wood, newspaper, cardboard, etc.) are strongly encouraged. Consider if supplemental materials can be recycled, composted, or upcycled. The use of cartons should directly relate to environmental stewardship efforts. The use of soil, plants, and seeds are encouraged.

The following criteria will be used when judging all carton creations:

- Best use of cartons in a garden (submitted with photos). Judged by compliance, quality, sustainability, and creativity.
- This contest provides the opportunity for collaboration and partnership within the school and throughout the community, and the entry will be given extra points for these efforts. Examples: Coordinating a field trip with a dairy processor, delivering educational materials from a juice processor, partnering on a project with Food Service personnel, collaborating with local farmers, etc.

Additional Criteria for the Grand Prize and Specialty Prizes:

In addition to the standard requirements, the grand prize and specialty prize candidates must also include a video link that tells the story of the project in its entirety from planning and the carton drive to the finished product, including:

- The collection of cartons from various sources
- School and community involvement
- Sustainability emphasis
- Goals for the project and how they were achieved
- Challenges and how they were overcome
- Key learnings from the project

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 178027

Number of Grants:

Fifteen (15) schools will be selected to win award packages. One school will win the grand prize. Four (4) schools will win Specialty prizes. Ten (10) schools – five (5) elementary and five (5) middle/high – will win prizes valued at $1,000.

Estimated Size of Grant:

- One school will win the grand prize, valued at $5,000.
- Four (4) schools will win Specialty prizes (Carton Art in the Garden, Environmental Stewardship, Health & Nutrition, and STEM), valued at $2,000.
- Ten (10) schools (5 elementary and 5 middle/high) will win prizes valued at $1,000.

The grand prize winner will receive:

- $4,500 cash prize for soil, plants, and other gardening needs
- $500 gift certificate from the Gardener’s Supply Shop
- Garden Essentials Package

Four specialty prize winners will receive:

- $1,500 cash prize for soil, plants, and other gardening needs
- $500 gift certificate from the Gardener’s Supply Shop
- Garden Essentials Package

Ten elementary and middle/high school winners will receive:

- $900 cash prize for soil, plants, and other gardening needs
- $100 gift certificate from the Gardener’s Supply Shop
- Garden Essentials Package

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Entries must be submitted by schools grades PreK-12. Any public, private, or charter school in the United States may enter the contest. (Cartons, however, can be collected at the school, brought in from home, or gathered by the community.)

Contest Rules:

- Only schools may enter the Carton 2 Garden Contest
- An adult team leader at least 18 years of age must register and upload the school’s entry.
- Grade level awards are divided into Elementary and Middle/ High School. Elementary includes grades PreK- 5 and Middle/High School includes grades 6-12. Note: to be eligible to enter, PreK classes must be located at a school that also serves older grade levels.
- Entries must not contain illegal content, profanity, obscenity, discriminatory or disparaging statements or content that violates a third party’s rights.

An applicant school does not need a garden to participate in this contest. Schools that have a fully functioning garden do not have an advantage over schools that are just starting their garden.

Pre-Application Information:

Important Dates:

-Beginning of School: Schools start collecting cartons
-Monday, March 25, 2019: Entries due
-Monday, April 22, 2019: Winners announced

Fifteen (15) schools with the most unique carton creations will be selected on Monday, April 22, 2019, to win award packages.

The registered team leader for each winning school will be contacted by e-mail within 7 days following the official announcement of the winners using the contact information provided in the entry form. Winners will be featured on and If the notification that is sent is returned as undeliverable, or you are otherwise unreachable for any reason, the prize may be awarded to an alternate selected winning team leader. If there is a dispute as to who is the winning team leader, the potential winning team leader will be considered to be the authorized account holder of the e-mail address used to enter the Contest.

Along with the entry form, you can submit up to 10 photos of your creation. To be eligible for the grand prize or a specialty prize, submissions must also include a video link to represent their project. The video should be under 5 minutes.

Applicants will need to submit a signed parental release form (available also in Spanish) with their entry for each student shown in the photos or video. (See Supporting Documents below.)

Only one prize per team per contest will be awarded.


Contest Rules:

Classroom Resources:

Registration and Promo Posters:

Prizes and Judging Criteria:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

To submit an entry:

For questions, contact:

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Geographic Focus:

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