WED 2010 Blogging Competition

Treehugger The Racepoint Group
  • Winning Blog
  • About the Competition
  • The Prize
  • How to Win
  • Entry Requirements
  • Judging Criteria
  • Key Dates
  • FAQs
  • Terms & Conditions

Winning Blogger and Treehugger Editor-In-Chief will blog from Rwanda

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 - - 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 and, 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 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:

Create Global Change for World Environment Day

by Tuesday Phillips, 5/11/2010

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.

About the Competition

How would you like to win a trip to Rwanda to cover World Environment Day on June 5th?

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.

Good Luck!

The Prize

A free trip to Rwanda for a winning blogger to write, blog and tweet about World Environment Day.

What’s included:
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.

How to Win

  1. Write a blog post about ‘The importance of individual action to celebrate World Environment Day, and how individual actions when multiplied can make a difference to the planet
  2. Post a link to your story onto the UNEP Facebook fan page with this comment, “I just entered to win a trip to Rwanda for UNEP’s World Environment Day. Read my blog post about what you can do to celebrate World Environment Day!”
  3. Entries must be received from the 3rd to the 10th May.
  4. Winners will be announced on the 20th May.
  5. To increase your chances of winning, post your story on Twitter with the hash tag #WED2010, and encourage friends to comment, ‘like’ the post on Facebook, and retweet your post across Facebook and Twitter.

Entry Requirements

  • Your post should be engaging, interesting, and passionate. We are looking for individual perspectives and stories highlighting the competition theme:
    The importance of individual action to celebrate World Environment Day, and how individual actions when multiplied can make a difference to the planet
  • Clarity is essential. Make it short, snappy and concise. The post must be a minimum of 400 words and a maximum of 600 words.
  • Read the World Environment Day website! This will give you detailed information on this year’s theme and events and activities taking place.
  • Support your post with links to other web pages that are contextual to your post, including a link to the World Environment Day website. Check other environmental blogs to see how they do it.
  • Ask your friends to comment on your post. We are looking to spread the word on World Environment Day. We will take this into account when judging, so the more comments, likes, and re-tweets your post has, the greater your chances of winning.

Judging Criteria

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.



Key Dates

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

Frequently Asked Questions

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

Terms and Conditions

Who may enter and how to win

  1. Entry into the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) World Environment Day (WED) Blogging Competition 2010 is subject to acceptance of these terms and conditions.
  2. All entries must be received between 12.00am GMT on Monday the 3rd of May to 11.59pm GMT on Monday 10th May 2010. Any entries received after this closing date will not be accepted. UNEP reserves the right to change the closing date where the entries are of insufficient quality. No responsibility is taken for entries that are lost, delayed, misdirected or incomplete or cannot be delivered or entered for any technical other reason.
  3. Entries posted on the UNEP Facebook fan page must link to a specific blog post entry for the WED Blogging competition. A contact e-mail address and short (200 word) biography of the blogger should also be easily visible on the blog page. This text will not be counted within the word limit of the submission.
  4. Entries should not have been previously published and should be the sole original work of the entrant. Any evidence of plagiarism may result in the entrant being removed from the Competition.
  5. Incomplete entries, entries on behalf of another person and joint entries will not be accepted. Only one entry per person can be accepted.
  6. UNEP is not obliged to publish any entry.
  7. Five finalists will be selected according to the standard of writing in their submitted blog post by an internal judging panel. This will include the quality of their writing, approach to the theme, and grasp of research.
  8. A panel of experts from UNEP, TreeHugger and Racepoint Group (on behalf of the government of Rwanda) will select, the blog post which best satisfies the criteria on the entry page. The winner will be announced on the WED website and
  9. The Winner

  10. The winner must possess a valid passport (valid for at least eight months from the Competition closing date) UNEP and partners will provide flights (and associated taxes), insurance, visas, and daily subsistence allowance (DSA) that will cover meals, accommodation and local transfers according to applicable UN rules and regulations. Although we will advise on other preparations needed (e.g. vaccinations) the winner is expected to arrange these and as such, these elements are not the responsibility of UNEP and partners. In addition, winners’ personal spending money for the duration of the trip shall be his/her own responsibility and so the winner must therefore ensure they have sufficient financial resources to meet any further financial commitments which may occur in connection with their trip. Prior to departure, the winner will be required to provide to UNEP contact details of his/her next of kin.
  11. The winner of the competition will travel to Rwanda to blog, and tweet on World Environment Day events and activities for UNEP taking place between 2nd and 6th June 2010 (WED activities are from 3rd -5th of June; 2nd -6th of June includes days for arrival and departure). The winner will be given access to the UNEP twitter feed to post updates. Updates will also automatically appear on the UNEP Facebook pages. Blog posts from Rwanda will be e-mailed to UNEP staff and will appear on both the World Environment Day and TreeHugger websites.
  12. UNEP will provide internet access for the winner to submit blog posts and tweets from Rwanda from the 3rd to the 5th of June 2010.
  13. The winner shall submit daily blog posts and tweets from Rwanda throughout WED. UNEP may edit and re-publish the winners blog posts, and tweets, and any photographs which the winner may take on the trip in connection with WED, in any online or off-line publication published by UNEP.
  14. UNEP is not responsible for cancellation, delays or changes to flights or for the inability of the winner to take further part in the competition due to problems with flights, travel or any other factor outside UNEP’s control.
  15. Entrants must have no criminal convictions, outstanding court summons or any legal reason that they would be unable to travel to Rwanda between 2nd of June 2010 and 6th of June 2010.
  16. Entrants must be available to travel between 2nd of June 2010 and 6th of June 2010.
  17. UNEP may terminate this Agreement upon notice to the winner for any of the following reasons: if he/she is unable to depart on the trip or to continue with the trip; if he/she fails to keep to their proposed journey and itinerary without good reason or unless agreed with UNEP; if he/she brings or seeks to bring UNEP, its publications or the partners into disrepute; if he/she breaches any term of this Agreement.
  18. The winner: a. grants UNEP and each of the partners a perpetual license to copy, edit, display, publish and make available their entry and, any photographs taken on the trip in connection with the Competition in any format in connection with the Competition; b. agrees that UNEP and each of the partners may publish their name in connection with UNEP’s and/or a partner’s use of the blog submission and any applicable photographs; and c. warrants that the blog submission is their own original work, that it is not defamatory and that it shall not infringe any third party rights including, without limitation, privacy.
  19. The winner may be required for promotional activity.
  20. The winner will assume sole responsibility for his/her own actions and their own safety during their trip for such periods when they are not accompanying representatives of UNEP or its partners on any organised element of the trip. The winner agrees to act in accordance with any reasonable instructions given to them by or on behalf of UNEP or its partners, to adhere to any itinerary for the trip given to them by UNEP or its partners, to act at all times with due and proper consideration for others and to observe and respect and abide by any applicable local laws, guidelines or customs. UNEP accepts no responsibility for and excludes all liability to the fullest extent permitted by law for any breach by the winner of this clause and for the winner’s own actions and their own safety during their trip for such periods when they are not accompanying representatives of UNEP or its partners on any organised element of the trip providing that UNEP does not seek to exclude any liability to the winner for any death or personal injury caused by the negligence of UNEP.
  21. This Agreement does not constitute any form of employment by UNEP by the winner.
  22. UNEP and partners reserve the right at any time and from time to time to modify or discontinue, temporarily or permanently, this Competition with or without prior notice due to reasons outside their control.
  23. UNEP reserves the right at any time to change these terms and conditions.
  24. This Agreement shall be subject to and interpreted in accordance to the guidelines governing participants in United Nations events.
  25. The winner will be required to sign a letter to confirm their acceptance of these terms and conditions prior to their departing on their trip.

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