Twenty Eco-Friendly Schools Named Finalists in the Walmart "Earth Day Every Day School Challenge"

Online vote to determine $20,000 grand prize winner will begin June 9

BENTONVILLE, Ark., June 9, 2009 – Small, every day changes can make a big difference to the environment. Twenty schools from across the country that have put this idea into practice are being recognized for their efforts: they’ve been named finalists in the Walmart “Earth Day Every Day School Challenge.”

Each school will receive a $500 Walmart gift card, which can be used to purchase items that will help enhance its eco-friendly activities. In addition, the 20 finalists will have the opportunity to compete for the grand prize: a $20,000 grant from Walmart to further their environmental projects. The finalists were selected by three independent judges (teachers and environmental experts) from among 439 qualified essays, which described the steps taken by each school to help make the world a greener place.

“At Walmart, we believe that Earth Day should be every day, and small changes can collectively make a big difference for the environment,” said Matt Kistler, senior vice president of sustainability, Walmart. “The schools that participated in the ‘Earth Day Every Day School Challenge,’ especially the 20 finalist schools, are examples of young Americans making a difference in their communities, and Walmart is honored to recognize their efforts.”

To compete for the grand prize, the finalists must submit a short video (three to five minutes in length) showcasing the environmental activities and projects described in their essays. The competing schools’ videos and essays will be posted at http://www.earthdayeverydaychallenge.com, and from June 9 through June 19, adults 18 years of age or older can vote on this site for the school they believe should be awarded the grand prize, based on the following criteria (weighted equally):

  • Involvement of the student body in initiating/continuing the eco-friendly activities/projects/efforts
  • Demonstration of the school’s commitment to eco-friendly practices
  • Originality/creativity of the eco-friendly activities/projects/efforts

The school that receives the highest number of votes will be awarded the $20,000 grant. Individuals must register with the website to cast a vote. The 20 finalists are (in alphabetical order):

Name of School School Location One Eco-Friendly Activity
Arlington Traditional School Arlington, Va. Every day, the school practices simple stewardship: lights off, copying double sided and recycling paper, cans and plastic and using them in school projects.
Beverly Elementary School Beverly Hills, Mich. The school’s environmental initiatives earned it the official Michigan Green School designation.
Corvallis High School Corvallis, Ore. The students’ latest environmental goal is to install solar panels on the school.
Days Creek Charter School Days Creek, Ore. Students in the Green Team class earned a Green School designation through the Oregon Green School Association by conducting a waste audit and proposing activities to conduct at school.
East Burke High School Connely Springs, N.C. Students produced biodiesel fuel in the chemistry lab and used it in school buses.
Erie Charter High School Erie, Kan. After a 2007 flood, students have banded together to build a gold-level LEED certified “school of the future.”
Fayette Academy Somerville, Tenn. Students initiated and performed an environmental evaluation of the school, presented their findings to the board, and proposed a new energy policy.
Hood River Valley High School Hood River, Ore. School has a wind turbine next to the football stadium, and a year-long alternative energy resources class for students.
Irvington High School Fremont, Calif. Took on the Flex Your Power Challenge in 2006 and reduced their energy consumption by 33 percent (equivalent of 129,000 kWh), tops in the state.
John Hanson Montessori School Oxon Hill, Md. Since 2004, the school has been a certified Green School by the Maryland Association of Environmental and Outdoor Education.
Kelly Creek Elementary School Gresham, Ore. School has low flow sink aerators, dual flush water saving toilets and new recycled content play equipment.
Maple Avenue Elementary School Claremont, N.H. The three fifth grade classes decided to take the reduce/reuse/recycle mantra to heart and are trying to build a greenhouse from recycled materials at the school.
Mountain Laurel Montessori School Front Royal, Va. Students recently adopted a section of Happy Creek and removed 25 bags of trash from its waters and banks.
Old Trails School Bath, Ohio Many students enjoy helping with composting from the cafeteria, turning off lights in the classrooms and participating in roadside garbage collection twice per year.
Redmond High School Redmond, Wash. Student-led recycling efforts have diverted 9,715 pounds of material from the waste stream this school year, saving over 15 tons of CO2.
Sandy S. Miller Elementary School Las Vegas, Nev. Students conduct experiments in the school’s hydroponic lab; The Desert Research Institute donated a Greenpower Station (solar and wind) which generates the energy needed for the lab.
Scottsbluff High School Scottsbluff, Neb. Students are assisting in the renovation of unused courtyards into outdoor classroom spaces, which will be xeriscaped with native flora to reduce water consumption and the use of chemicals.
South River High School South River, N.J. The Environmentally Aware Rams That Help (E.A.R.T.H.) Club is comprised of students who work hard to make Earth Day every day.
West Geauga High School Chesterland, Ohio Students have built an Outdoor Classroom area and started the “Better Bulbs” campaign in the community.
Wilsonville High School Wilsonville, Ore. Since 2005, the school has been recognized as an Oregon Green School for its waste reduction efforts.

 

For more information about the Walmart “Earth Day Every Day School Challenge,” please visit http://www.earthdayeverydaychallenge.com. For more information on how Walmart can help customers save money and live green, visit http://www.walmart.com/green.

About Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT)
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. operates Walmart discount stores, supercenters, Neighborhood Markets and Sam’s Club locations in the United States. The Company operates in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Japan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico and the United Kingdom. The Company's common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol WMT. More information about Wal-Mart can be found by visiting www.walmartstores.com. Online merchandise sales are available at www.walmart.com and www.samsclub.com.

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