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U.S. EPA Launches National Environmental Video Competition to Promote “Three R’s” of Consumer Waste

Release Date: 12/16/2009
Contact Information: Nahal Mogharabi, 415/947-4307,

Agency Encourages “Individual Action in Your Community”

(12/16/09--SAN FRANCISCO) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is sponsoring a video contest that challenges filmmakers and students to produce short, creative videos that highlight the “Three R’s” of individual consumption: reduce, reuse, recycle. The EPA expects to award cash prizes up to $2,500 and will be accepting video submissions through February 16, 2010.

The competition “Our Planet, Our Stuff, Our Choice” calls for short, creative videos that examine consumption and recycling and offer community based solutions.

"What we buy, use, and throw away contributes over 40% of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States," said Jeff Scott, the EPA’s director of the Waste Management Division for the Pacific Southwest Region. "We want to get the message out about how important it is for each of us to take personal action to help the environment."

Entries should be 30-60 seconds in length and promote steps individuals and organizations can take to minimize negative environmental impacts within their communities on the following topics:

    • Reducing and reusing
    • Recycling
    • Composting
    • Consumption and its effect on environmental footprint

The winning submissions will be announced in April 2010 in time for the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. Awards will be given to the top three videos in the following amounts, as well as a special “Student Winner” category exclusively for submissions by persons 13 to 18 years old at the time of entry:
    • 1st Place - $2,500
    • 2nd Place - $1,500
    • 3rd Place - $1,000
    • 2 Student Winners (13 to 18 years old) - $500 each

Quick Facts:
    • In 2008, Americans produced and threw away 216.8 million tons of trash, much of which is recyclable, compostable or just not necessary.
    • Between 1960 and 2008 the amount of waste each person creates has almost doubled from 2.7 to 4.5 pounds per day.
    • Recycling and reuse employs approximately 1.1 million people, generates an annual payroll of nearly $37 billion, and grosses over $236 billion in annual revenues.
    • Reducing consumption, recycling, and composting can reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
    • 31 million tons of food waste ends up in landfills or incinerators each year. Instead this valuable material could be composted or anaerobically digested to create fertilizer or energy.

For more information on the “Our Planet, Our Stuff, Our Choice,” please visit

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