My Waste My Way: Fulbright - National Geographic Storytelling Contest 2

Photo Credit: World Bank

Date and Time:

Monday, November 13, 2017, 12:00am

Registration Deadline:

Monday, November 20, 2017, 12:00am

The Fulbright - National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship is launching #MyWasteMyWay environmental education digital media contests in 2017-18 to promote sustainability through the arts.

SUBMISSION WINDOWNovember 13 - November 20, 2017,**

CONTEST THEME: "A World Without Plastic Straws"

We’re challenging you to drink your favorite drink without using a plastic straw-- instead, replace it with something a little more creative. Take an unedited photo of a creative way to drink your drink without using a plastic straw, and post it on Instagram with the #MyWasteMyWay.

Don’t forget to tag @lillysedaghat, and be sure to add a 250-word max caption explaining what your new straw-of-choice is, and what you can do to inspire your friends and family not to use plastic straws with their drinks.

Every day, Americans use and throw away 500 million plastic straws. From the green straws at Starbucks to the colored plastic straws offered at boba milk tea houses, plastic straws have become a part of our lives. But the effect of plastic straws, something seemingly so small, is enormous—plastic straws are made from nonbiodegradable chemicals and break down into smaller and smaller pieces over time, ending up in the noses of sea turtles and destroying the livelihoods of marine life.

But we can prevent our oceans from turning into plastic soups through simple actions and an increased awareness of how our consumer choices affect the planet. Let’s use creativity to change the way we live and recognize our role in protecting the planet!


  • Limited to one entry per person, or one entry per group.
  • Submissions must be uploaded to Instagram and tag @lillysedaghat.
    • For parents/teachers concerned with privacy issues, teachers can create a “classroom account;” and submit entries in this manner. Please be sure to specify the student’s name in the caption.
  • In the caption of your submission, please include the following 6 items:  
    • Your Name
    • Your School
    • Grade Level
    • Caption: 250-word max description describing explaining what your new straw-of-choice is, and what you can do to inspire your friends and family not to use plastic straws with their drinks.
    • Include the hashtag: #MyWasteMyWay
    • Tag: @lillysedaghat


  • The winner’s submission will be featured on the National Geographic Voices Blog! (
  • Winners will be announced on Lilly’s Instagram page (@lillysedaghat), their submission will be reposted on Lilly’s Instagram and Facebook (@MyWasteMyWay) page.
  • Lilly will then contact the winner and ask for the best address to mail them their prize. For students, the prize will be mailed to their school.
  • Please expect the prize to arrive 3-4 weeks following confirmation of address from the winner.
  • Prizes will all consist of green, reusable materials and accessories to help support the mission of living an environmentally sustainable life. 

Inspire students to actively think about their role in the waste ecosystem and apply design-thinking skills to waste management & sustainability themes. 



The contest series meet the following Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS):

  • ESS-3 & 4: Earth and Human Activity, applicable to K-5, Middle School & High School
  • ESS3-1: Use a model to represent the relationship between the needs of different plants and animals (including humans) and the places they live. (K-2)
  • ESS-3: Communicate solutions that will reduce the impact of humans on the land, water, air, or other living things in the local environment. (K-2)
  • ESS3: Obtain and combine information about ways individual communities use science ideas to protect the Earth’s resources and environment. (Grades 3-5)
  • ESS3-3: Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment. (Grades 6-8)
  • ESS3-4 Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems (High School)

** The submission window has changed to Nov 13 - 20th, 2017. These dates are different from previously described in the contest timeline guideline emailed out earlier. Our apologies for any inconvenience this may have caused.