Evergreen Packaging® Launches National Gardening Contest; Promotes Sustainability, Creativity in Schools with 2016 Awards totaling more than $25,000

MEMPHIS, Tenn., November 14, 2015 – Today Evergreen Packaging, with support from KidsGardening.org, announces the launch of the second annual Carton 2 Garden contest, a nation-wide competition inviting K-12 students to repurpose milk and juice cartons to build creative gardens or enhance their schools’ existing garden. The Carton 2 Garden Program promotes hands-on teaching, with opportunities for building important problem solving and life skills, and awards more than $25,000 in prizes to schools across the country. This initiative underscores Evergreen Packaging’s on-going commitment to raise awareness about the importance of eco-friendly packaging.

“After a successful inaugural year, the Carton 2 Garden Program is back to serve as an important resource, facilitating hands-on learning about gardening, creativity, sustainability and healthy living in classrooms across the country,” said Katie Simmons, marketing manager at Evergreen Packaging. “Last year we were very pleased to see how schools used the contest to achieve important educational and life skill goals: promoting STEM-based learning, community involvement and sustainable living practices. This year we’ve honed the program to better support schools working to excel in these key areas. We’re excited to see what these creative teachers and students will achieve.”

Carton 2 Garden Program participating teachers like Mike Soskil from spring 2015 national winner Wallenpaupack Elementary was impressed with the merits of the contest, saying, “Learning about gardening, recycling and sustainability – what the students have been working on through Carton 2 Garden allows these children to build the skills they need to solve the world’s problems in the future.”

The contest promotes good nutritional habits among school children, while also emphasizing the importance of sustainable packaging last year’s contestants reused more than 50,000 cartons in their entries. Visit www.carton2garden.com for additional details and official contest rules. A list of last year’s winners can be found here, and past participants’ experiences are highlighted in a new, shareable video.

“In the inaugural year of the Carton 2 Garden Contest, students and educators really got engaged with the benefits of utilizing cartons in school gardens,” said Jennifer Tedeschi, executive director at KidsGardening.org. “We’re looking forward to building onto the fantastic success of year one. With the added specialty areas of STEM, sustainability and community involvement, we know year two will bring even more creative projects.”

Schools from across the United States can compete to win prize packages, valued up to $5,000, by repurposing empty milk and juice cartons in their school gardens, which will be judged based on creativity and sustainability. One grand prize winner ($5,000); three specialty prize winners ($2,500), one each for STEM learning, Community Involvement and Sustainable Practices; five elementary school winners ($1,000) and five middle or high school winners ($1,000) will be chosen. National Gardening Association gift cards will also be awarded to the first 100 schools to enter. The deadline for submissions is April 13, 2016.

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.

About KidsGardening.org

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.