First Annual Environmental Awareness Contest

The Suwannee St. Johns group of the Sierra Club is seeking high school and college-age affiliated groups to help spread the word about important environmental topics. This year’s topic is Plastic Water Bottles – Reduce the Use.

Did you know that:

  • Producing bottled water uses lots of energy.  Making bottles to meet Americans’ demand for bottled water requires more than 15 million barrels of oil annually, enough to fuel some 100,000 U.S. cars for a year.
  • Plastic bottles make a mess. Hundreds of millions end up as litter on roads and beaches or in streams and other waterways. Taxpayers pay hundreds of millions of dollars each year in disposal and litter cleanup costs.
  • Bottled water produces toxins. An expert panel of scientists has concluded that exposure to extremely low doses of bisphenol A, a chemical used to produce plastic bottles, is strongly linked to diseases such as breast cancer, prostate cancer, diabetes, and to reproductive and neurological development.

The contest

The Suwannee St. Johns Sierra Club needs your help to educate the public on the environmental, health, and economic issues related to the use of single-serve bottled water. We are seeking projects which inspire people, expecialy young people, to reduce their use of plastic water bottles and which convey steps that can be taken to accomplish this reduction. Cash prizes will be awarded to the student organization for the best project in each of three categories:

  • Best video, three to five minutes, $700.
  • Best music recording, three to five minutes, $400.
  • Best mixed media, poster and brochure, $400.

The winning projects will be featured on SSJ’s website, Facebook, YouTube, and will be used as educational tools in schools and at community events.

Entries must be received by February 1, 2012. The contest winners will be notified by April 2, 2012 via email. Prizes will be awarded on Earth Day, April 22, 2012.

The projects

You should research and review bottled water facts to learn more about this topic and then create one of the media projects below:

  • A 3-5 minute video
  • A 3-5 minute music recording
  • A poster and accompanying brochure
Projects will be judged by an expert panel on the basis of creativity, originality, quality, technical accuracy, and content of the message. Projects can be funny or serious as long as they focus on the contest theme and show steps that can be taken to reduce single-serve plastic bottle use.

Video projects

Your video project must meet the following requirements:

  • Your video must be between three and five minutes long.
  • The video must end with text that directs the viewer to the SSJ website, The text must be displayed for a minimum of five seconds.
  • The video must be submitted on a data CDROM or DVD as a file in one of these formats: Quicktime, MOV, WMV, MPEG, or AVI.
  • The CDROM or DVD must be mailed to: SSJ Video Contest, c/o Linda Pollini, 25415 NE State Road 26, Melrose, Florida, 32666-6112.

Music projects

Your music project must meet the following requirements:

  • The recording must be between three and five minutes long.
  • The recording must end with a mention of the SSJ website,
  • The record must be submitted on a CD and mailed to: SSJ Music Recording, c/o Nkwanda Jah, Cultural Arts Coalition, PO Box 198, Gainesville, Florida, 32602.

Mixed media projects

Your mixed media project must meet the following requirements:

  • The project consists of a poster and a trifold brochure.
  • The poster must be submitted on foam board a minimum of 24 by 36 inches.
  • The brochure must be a tri-fold brochure on letter-size paper, 8.5 by 11 inches.
  • The poster and the brochure must display the Sierra Club logo and website address.
  • Items must be delivered to: Nkwanda Jah, Cultural Arts Coalition Office, 321 NW 10th Street, Gainesville, Florida, 32601. Please call first: 352-372-0216.

The rules

Please review the following rules and requirements carefully. You must agree to them on the entry form.

  1. Projects must conform to the guidelines described above.
  2. Before you fill out the entry form, you should send a brief description of your intended  project to Whitey Markle. Include the name of your group, some contact information, and a description of the project.
  3. Entries must be received by February 1, 2012.
  4. All entries must be accompanied by the entry forms.
  5. You must also provide a release form for any person that appears or performs in the project.
  6. SSJ reserves the right to disqualify any entry based on suitability, content, or quality.
  7. Winning items will be granted to SSJ as royalty-free license to copy, distribute, modify, display, and perform publicly and otherwise use, and authorize others to use your project for any educational purpose and in any media. Creators and their sponsors will be credited.
  8. Keep it clean. No violence, profanity, or sex.
  9. No direct attacks on individuals or organizations.
  10. Projects cannot advocate or promote any legislation currently under consideration by local, state, or federal governments. SSJ can offer some further guidance on this.
  11. Projects must not infringe on any third party rights.
  12. The project must be your original creation. No copyrighted music, videos, images or other content can be used.
  13. Projects containing material that was previously produced for compensation or already posted on the Internet are not eligible.


Privacy policy

Personal information collected from the submitters to the contest will never be sold. The information collected for this contest will only be used to contact video submitters in direct relation to the contest. The contest winners’ names will be announced publicly after consultation with the winner. Any videos posted to YouTube will be subject to YouTube’s Privacy Policy.