Promoting Sustainability Through Contests

As planet lovers, we all want to reduce our energy and resource consumption simply because it is the “right thing to do”, right? But sometimes a contest can be a great way to promote sustainable behavior and amp up the participation. It is no secret that people tend to want to know “what’s in it for me” before buying into something.  And competitions add the engaging element of winning. Seriously, who doesn’t like to win? In fact, even if there is no prize involved, just the concept of a competition alone is enough to get some motivated. There have been a bunch of recent examples to share with you today.

First, we would like to congratulate U of R student, Amanda He! Amanda is proudly showing off her brand new iPod Nano, in pink per her request. Amanda won the iPod by simply “liking” the UR Sustainable Facebook page. Although liking a Facebook page alone doesn’t positively impact the environment directly, it will supply readers with green news, tips, and ways that they can become a part of the UR sustainability movement.

Contests can also be an opportunity for people to show off their talents. In honor of America Recycles Day, which is this Thursday, November 15th, Keep America Beautiful (KAB) held a t-shirt contest. Public voting determined the first winner and then two more were chosen. All three winners will receive a prize pack from the organization’s America Recycles Day sponsors and a cash prize from Shirt.Woot. Check out all the creative winning designs here.

Poster design contests are also a big hit. The Student Vs. Trash poster contest was created to use design to defeat trash and get people excited to reuse, recycle, and stop littering. The Gallery Showing & Awards Presentation was just held at EPA Region 2 Headquarters in New York City on November 9. The lineup of speakers included Mark Lichtenstein, Executive Director of Environmental Finance Center. Check out some of these winning designs here.

If you want the chance to show off your design talents and passion for the 3R’s, there is another poster contest open NOW! It is the 13th Annual International Compost Awareness Week 2013 Poster Contest of the US Composting Council. The winning poster will be used to promote International Compost Awareness Week, May 6 – May 12, 2013. The competition is open to everyone and anyone who wants to help celebrate composting and promote the benefits of compost. For more information on 2013 contest rules, regulations, and how to submit, please click here.

Student vs. Trash Winner by Brian J. Radomski, William Patterson University

But perhaps the most effective change agents are actual competitions such as UR Unplugged. Student group, Grassroots held the one week contest from October 19th until November 2nd to encourage the residential areas of campus to compete against each other to reduce energy consumption. The motivation? The area with the highest reduction in energy would receive a monetary prize. After a week of some fun promotional events, including “Hirst Lounge Goes Dark” and a “Field Day Finale Event”, not one but two winners were announced. Congratulations to Theta Chi as the winning hall council as well as ADP who was awarded “Outstanding Dorm”!

If you enjoy friendly competitions to evoke sustainable behavior, you will be in for a treat next February and March. RecycleMania is a nationwide competition that promotes recycling and waste reduction activities. Last year over 600 colleges joined. One of the best parts of the competition is the educational opportunity available through promotional events and activities. This year at the UR, a new planning committee has formed and is already meeting to make sure that RecycleMania will have a strong presence on campus. Much like last year’s Earth Fest, several student groups are working together to make this something truly exciting. There will be lots of fun in store including special events and lots opportunities to win prizes. Stay tuned for more details!!


Written by, Amy Kadrie

One Reply to “Promoting Sustainability Through Contests”

  1. Your post “Promoting Sustainability Through Contests” is a great idea, and it’s so true.

    When you say “sometimes a contest can be a great way to promote sustainable behavior and amp up the participation” your completely right.

    Thank you, your work really appreciated.

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