Short-term conveniences such as disposable coffee cups are often not environmentally sustainable, says the EPA's Stephen Fennell
Second level students from across Ireland are asked to consider the global consequences of local actions, as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) launches The Story of Your Stuff competition 2022.
The competition asks students to think about the wider environmental impact of their everyday decisions. It asks students to research the life cycle and environmental impact of an everyday item - such as their toothbrush - or everyday activity such as eating their lunch, and to present their findings in a creative way.
Now it its sixth year, The Story of Your Stuff has the empowerment of students at its core, encouraging young people to realise the influence they can have on their friends and family when it comes to making environmentally-responsible consumer choices.
With its focus on sustainability, waste management, climate action and environmental protection, the competition asks young people to think, talk and make small changes that can have far-reaching impacts.
Entrants visually tell the environmental story of their "stuff" through a creative medium of their choice (including video, animation, infographics, photography). They are then in with a chance to win €500 for themselves and €500 for their school. There is also a special climate topic prize, as well as a prize for the best Irish language entry.
Speaking at the launch of the competition, the EPA’s Stephen Fennell said: “Whether using disposable coffee cups, or taking the car instead of walking, or using public transport – these short-term conveniences often are not environmentally sustainable.
"Our individual actions have lasting impacts, and The Story of Your Stuff competition asks young people how they, and those closest to them, can act in a more environmentally friendly way. Now more than ever, we cannot lose sight of our power as individuals to bring about change, and this competition instils that message among young people.
"By presenting their findings in a creative way, students will communicate the benefit of making environmentally conscious decisions and hopefully empower others to reflect on their own consumption habits.
Competition guidelines and tips are available at www.thestoryofyourstuff.ie. The deadline for entries is Monday, March 7.
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