Winners Announced: 'World of 7 Billion' Student Video Contest
By Population Connection
Sixteen U.S. and one Belgian student earned the top spots in the World of 7 Billion video contest sponsored by Population Connection. The competition included nearly 2,000 video submissions from middle and high school students from 28 countries and 44 U.S. states and territories. The videos explored population growth as it relates to deforestation, public health and water scarcity.
The three high school first-place winners each received a $1,000 cash prize, while the three second-place winners each received a $500 cash prize and six honorable mentions each received a $250 cash prize. Middle schools students who claimed first and second place received $500 and $250 respectively.
“This contest creates an opportunity for youth to use videos to highlight some of the environmental and social threats facing our world," John Seager, president of Population Connection, said. “Every year, participating students from around the country and the world not only share this message but give us hope with their passion and creativity."
The contest was organized and promoted during the 2015-16 school year by Population Education, a program of Population Connection. A panel of 47 judges—including college and high school educators, filmmakers and professionals working in relevant fields—selected the finalists.
“This was the first year we opened the contest up to middle school as well as high school students and the complexity with which they discussed these issues was stunning," Pam Wasserman, vice president for education at Population Connection, said. "The videos were of great quality, including informative and thought-provoking analysis and innovative solutions for some of the global challenges we face."
View the winning videos and student bios here.
2015-2016 First Place Deforestation Winners
Middle School Winner
High School Winner
2015-2016 First Place Public Health Winners
Middle School Winner
High School Winner
2015-2016 First Place Water Scarcity Winners
Middle School Winner
High School Winner
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When they founded their recycling start-up Plaxtil in 2017, it was textile waste they set their sights on. The project developed a process that turned fabrics into a new recyclable material they describe as "ecological plastic."
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Hemp, Sugar Cane and Sustainable Alternatives<p>Some projects are instead addressing the material used to make masks.</p><p>French company Geochanvre have created a mask made primarily from hemp, while in Australia, researchers at the Queensland University of Technology are experimenting with a disposable product made from agricultural waste. </p><p>Biodegradable options are exciting alternatives to reduce the fossil fuels needed for the creation of plastic-based masks, said Krones, but they don't absolve the wearer from the responsibility of what happens afterwards. </p><p>Bio-based masks often need their own composing solutions, he explains, because in landfill they can produce high amounts of the greenhouse gas methane when anaerobic bacteria feeds on the organic material. Methane is known to be significantly more potent than carbon dioxide.</p><p>"I think as long as we have in our mind that we want to have disposability, we're going to have to wrestle with a variety of different sorts of environmental tradeoffs," he said, adding that reusable, fabric masks are the best option available to most people.</p><p>Precimask is developing a clear face covering with an optional visor made from hard plastic, designed to be long-lasting.<br></p><p>Air enters either side of the cheeks through a technology normally found in pool filters and car exhaust systems, said company spokeswoman Juliette Chambet.</p><p>"We wanted to make ceramic-based filters that would be washable and cleanable, which would allow them to be reused as many times as desired without having to buy a new consumable or produce waste," she said. </p><p>Ultimately, encouraging mask wearers to think about the entire lifecycle of a mask is key, explains Neveu. </p><p>"We want people who put on the masks to realize that they are also responsible for the waste, he said. "It's not inevitable that this [pandemic] will become an environmental catastrophe.</p><p><em>Reposted with permission from </em><em><a href="https://www.dw.com/en/covid-19-recycling-pollution-trash-pandemic/a-55707817" target="_blank">Deutsche Welle</a>.</em><a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/r/entryeditor/2649032193#/" target="_self"></a></p>
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