Hack Your School Green!

Guerrilla Green | The Sustainability Showdown

We all aspire to build healthy, inspiring and sustainable schools for the next generation. Despite this shared vision, our schools face significant barriers to becoming truly green learning environments. More than ever, outdated school buildings are unhealthy. Budgets are strapped. Educators are too burdened to teach the 'big picture' thinking that students need to live sustainable lives in the place where they spend perhaps a third of their day – school.

Launched in October 2012, Architecture for Humanity wanted to put the fate of the classroom into the hands of its students. With $28,000 in awards, this March Madness-esque competition challenged teens to visualize a plan to improve the spaces within their schools, while supporting the implementation of their visions by granting up to $13,000 to the winning team.

Guerrilla Green spanned the 2012-2013 school year, delivering the grand prize – a 5’ long, $10,000 check – to the winning team in May. 78 teams totaling 206 students participated from all over the US and were judged on innovation, creativity and viability. The submissions were diverse and focused on a number of issues ranging from water conservation to reuse and recycling to sustainable landscapes to indoor air quality to food justice as well as good ol’ green advocacy.

This inaugural sustainable showdown demonstrated, once again, that the most powerful solutions are local solutions, made for and by the people that need them.

The Showdown

> ROUND 1 | Ideation Phase = $1,000

  • Proposals submitted to on-line competition site.
  • 10 semi-finalists chosen.
  • Semi-finalist teams awarded $1,000 each to move on the to next round.

> ROUND 2 | Prototype + Implementation Phase = $2,000

  • Round 01 semi-finalists were given the opportunity to prototype their idea.
  • Four finalists were chosen.
  • Finalist teams awarded $2,000 each to move on the to next round.

> ROUND 3 | Scaling Up = $10,000

  • Round 02 finalists demonstrate results and impact of their prototype.
  • Grand prize winner selected.
  • $10,000 was awarded to the winning team.

The Timeline

October 22, 2013 - Guerrilla Green launches

February 01, 2013 - Last day to submit
February 15, 2013 - Round 01 winners announced

March 29, 2013- Round 02 closes
April 08, 2013 - Round 02 winners announced

April 29, 2013 - Round 03 closes
May 10, 2013 - Final winner announced

The Jury

An online jury of sustainability and youth empowerment rockstars reviewed the student submissions and selected the winners of each round. The brilliant young people included a 19year old filmmaker, an activist architect, and a 21year old eco-pioneer (don’t worry, they make us feel like underachievers too).

Get to know our awesome judges >

Don’t feel like reading? Check out this video that breaks it all down:

The Guerrilla Green Champions

Region: South
Location: Miami, Florida
School: Design and Architecture Senior High
Oandy Naranjo
Gabriana Freire
Janos Gonzalez
Advocacy: Check out their Blog

"The Thirsty Fountain is a project to collect the water that is wasted and that runs off drinking fountains when one is drinking, (which our group has calculated to be about 7 fluid ounces of water for every 10 seconds that the drinking fountains are used) and reusing that water for practical uses i.e. Irrigation. The project also involves a social component, the water would be collected in clear containers as it runs off, so everyone that drinks can see the containers fill and be aware of how much water they are not putting to good use. Yet."

Thirsty for More? Don’t stop now, there’s more…

Stay Connected

Interested in hosting a showdown in your school community? Don’t be shy, we’d love to hear from you. Call +1 415.963.3511 or send us an email to

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