WED 2010 Blogging Competition
Tuesday Phillips, a resident of California, USA, wrote the winning blog for the WED Blogging Competition. Phillips is the editor-in-chief of a blog she created - Ecolutionist.com - a blog she says is dedicated to the evolution of progressive thought, actions and ideas. With the planet in mind, Phillips hopes to expand awareness within the scope of conscious living and bring to life a new way of thinking about the environment we live in, as well as ignite inspiration for universal change. Phillips will travel to Rwanda from 2-6 June to blog from the ground about the WED 2010 events.
Phillips will be joined by the editor-in-chief of TreeHugger.com and PlanetGreen.com, Meaghan O'Neill. O'Neill first joined TreeHugger as head writer when it launched in 2004. She has also worked as a freelance journalist, managing editor of Boston Magazine, contributing editor at Design New England, researcher-reporter at Interior Design, and assistant editor at Ziff Davis Media. Her first book, Ready, Set, Green: Eight Weeks to Modern Eco-Living, was published in 2008, and her eight-part series “The Slate Green Challenge” for Slate.com was a National Magazine Award finalist in 2007. She has contributed to a diversity of publications including Men's Journal, The Boston Globe Magazine, I.D., ReadyMade, Glamour, and Teen Vogue, among others; has spoken at events, businesses, and schools across the country; and has made dozens of national and local radio and television appearances. She lives in Rhode Island with her family.
Read Tuesday Phillips' winning blog:
With over six billion residents, the earth is teeming with people. Billions of inhabitants, that if rallied together in an effort to alter minor elements to their life could really make global change and shift the course of environmental fate. Imagine. People working in unison towards one common goal: the betterment of the planet and quality of life. Okay, okay, sure, this sounds like the rhetoric right from the mouth of a bleeding heart liberal (which it is), but what can we really do if we can’t dream of change first? The truth is, while it would be great to have the support of all six billion inhabitants, we can’t wait for the rest of the world to make global change, so the substance of individual action is that much more important. With World Environment Day approaching on June 5th, now is the best time to take a look at how we are living and assess whether or not any elements can be changed to minimize the ecological footprint we have tracked along the planet. World Environment Day began in 1972 with the hopes of creating awareness of environmental issues across the globe and igniting political attention. A true leader in eco-awareness, they strive to inspire change through their partnerships and actions. Sometimes what might seem like the most meaningless action can have the most substantial influence, changing the course of environmental fate for the better and inspiring others to make similar choices. Here are 10 acts, that when multiplied by the participation of others, have the capacity to not only reverse the progression of environmental destruction, but smooth away the lines of the deep-rooted, carbon footprints we have made along the way:
Take Shorter Showers
Currently, only 3% of the earth’s water is fresh and many people are living with little to no water on a daily basis. Find ways to incorporate the conservation of water into your daily routine. When you shower, keep it brief. Also, use a bucket to catch the cold water while you are waiting for warm water. That water can then be used to water plants or even be boiled for cooking or drinking later. Get creative with water conservation!
Use Products with Less Packaging
Almost anything you buy these days is layered in unnecessary coats of plastic. When shopping, try to purchase items with the least amount of packaging or no packaging at all. When plastic is not recycled it usually ends up in the ocean or landfills.
Organize a Community Tree Planting
Trees are oxygen filters that moderate climate, improve air quality, conserve water, and harbor wildlife. Get your community inspired to dedicate one day a year (perhaps on World Environment Day, wink wink) to the planting of new trees in your neighborhood.
Use Reusable Bags for Shopping
Plastic takes approximately 500 years to breakdown. If at all possible, do not use plastic bags. Reusable grocery bags are very reasonable (often under $1) and are much sturdier, holding more food than plastic bags anyway. This is a simple way to contribute positively to the environment.
Flip the Switch
Don’t wast energy by leaving the lights on when you’re not in the room. While you’re at it, turn off the TV, computer and other household appliances, too. By doing this you can decrease the speed at which global warming is gaining.
Use Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products
Regular household cleaning products contain harmful chemicals that are detrimental to the environment and ozone. Instead, use products with natural ingredient or make your own.
Compost Leftover Scraps of Food
Organic waste that would otherwise end up in landfills can be placed in a compost bin as food for your garden. Composting 101 has all the information you need to get started.
Leave Your Car at Home
If at all possible, walk, bike or take public transportation. The fumes released by the fossil fuels are major contributors to global warming and are toxic. Not driving your car for a few days a week, or at all, could really help the environment for the better.
Start a Recycle Drive
Most people know how to recycle plastic and cans, but there is still a lot of confusion on how to properly recycle other items, like electronics. By starting a community-based recycle drive you can not only ensure that those items get to the right place, but educate people in your area of how to recycle items on their own.
Be an Armchair Activist
If you are in the financial position to take your action one step further, consider being an armchair activist and contributing positively to the sustainability of our dwindling species, such as the great apes. The great apes are facing extinction within the next five to ten years if action is not taken with their survival in mind. According to the United Nations Environmental Programme, the majority of the great ape population could be extinct in our lifetime. Lodging activities in Indonesia, bushmeat trade in Africa and the destruction of their natural habitat are all adding to the increased decline in the great ape population. While armchair activism may seem like a weak representation of such regal, majestic and amazing creatures, it can make a huge impact on their survival. To donate and aid in saving the great apes, United Nations Environmental Programme has made it as easy as a couple clicks. You can also sign this petition on CARE2, absolutely free, to stop the unnecessary killing of orangutans in Indonesia.
The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) in partnership with host country Rwanda and TreeHugger, are sponsoring a free trip to Rwanda for a winning blogger to write, blog and tweet about World Environment Day.
Commemorated since 1972, World Environment Day (WED) aims to stimulate worldwide awareness of the environment and encourage political attention and action. This year’s theme; ‘Many Species. One Planet. One Future.’ – focuses on the central importance to humanity of the globe’s wealth of species and ecosystems, and supports the UN International Year of Biodiversity.
Rwanda's location at the heart of the Albertine Rift eco-region is one of Africa’s most biologically diverse regions. It is home to some 40 per cent of the continent’s mammal species (402 species), a huge diversity of birds (1,061 species), reptiles and amphibians (293 species), and higher plants (5,793 species).
So, are you interested, would you like to see Rwanda for yourself?
For every submission UNEP will donate $10 towards Gorilla Conservation projects in Rwanda.
A free trip to Rwanda for a winning blogger to write, blog and tweet about World Environment Day.
Flights, associated taxes, accommodation, visa costs, insurance, and travel within Rwanda to WED events will be covered.
World Environment Day is on June 5th, 2010. The contest winner will be flown to Rwanda for four days, beginning June 2nd, 2010 and ending June 6th, 2010. Short listed and winning posts will be published on TreeHugger and the World Environment Day websites.
Entrants will be expected to ensure they are able to travel to Rwanda for the duration and cover any other costs (eg vaccinations). For specific details, please see the Terms and Conditions. For details on recommended preparations for travel to Rwanda, see the Travel Rwanda website.
Entries will be judged and a winner will be selected by representatives of UNEP, TreeHugger, and RacePoint Group on behalf of the government of Rwanda. Although this will be a subjective decision based on the opinions of the judges, considerations will include style, grammar, the use of links, and whether we think the post is original, interesting, engaging, and passionate.
April 27th - Competition announcement
May 3rd-10th- Competition open for entries
May 11th to 16th - Judging process
May 20th - Winner announced
June 2nd to 6th - Trip to Rwanda
Who can enter?
Anyone over the age of 18.
Is the competition free to enter?
Can I submit more than one entry?
Which languages are accepted?
Entries will be accepted in all official UN languages (English, French, Spanish, Chinese, Russian, and Arabic).
How will my article be judged?
After the closing date, entries will go through preliminary review by a team of UNEP staff. All entries are anonymous for the judging process. Five short listed entries will then be sent to the judging panel for final selection, according to the judging criteria. Judges will include representatives of UNEP, Treehugger, and RacePoint Group on behalf of the Republic of Rwanda.
Will I get paid if my piece appears in the paper or online?
Can I use an existing piece?
Your piece must not have been published before, and should be written specifically for this competition.
Can the deadline be extended?
What if I am selected but unable to go to Rwanda?
By entering the competition you confirm that you will be available to travel to Rwanda for World Environment Day from June 2 - 6.
My article is over the word limit - will I be disqualified?
All entries that are more than 10% over the maximum word count of 600 words will be disqualified.
Will I lose any rights to my work by entering the competition?
Once an entry is submitted to the competition, UNEP will have the right to use your entry in connection with the competition, including the right to copy, edit, display, publish and make available your entry in any format. If you have any further questions regarding the competition please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who may enter and how to win
|UNEP WED Celebrations Worldwide
- North America