Caring For The Environment Essay Contest

A safer, cleaner environmental future: the CRC CARE High School Essay Competition


Congratulations to the winners!


The Dr Roneal Naidu award for writing on chemical contamination and its effect on food quality and human health

  • 1st prize ($1000): Edith Spiers (aged 15), Salesian College, Sunbury, Victoria:
    The Cost of our Errors is Immediate. 
  • 2nd prize ($500): Tessa Quinlan (aged 13), Victory Lutheran College, Wodonga, Victoria:
    Would you like some microfibres with that?


The CRC CARE award for writing on contamination of our planet: how can we ensure a clean and safe environment for future generations?

  • 1st prize ($500): Thulani Mananduwa Arachchige (aged 14), Mac.Robertson Girl’s High School, Melbourne, Victoria:
    Make ‘No pollution’ your New Year’s resolution.


How to enter

Enter the CRC CARE High School Essay Competition with a 500- to 1000-word essay about contaminants in the environment (for a safer, cleaner environmental future) and you could win a great prize!

Choose from two categories:

  • The Dr Roneal Naidu award for writing on chemical contamination and its effect on food quality and human health ($1000 prize)
  • The CRC CARE award for writing on contamination of our planet: how can we ensure a clean and safe environment for future generations? ($500 prize)

Entries are open to students in Years 7 to 12. The best essay on each topic, judged on its writing quality, interest, newsworthiness, and scientific accuracy, will receive a cash prize and a trip to Melbourne for the CleanUp 2017 conference gala dinner (prize winners must be accompanied to the gala dinner by a parent/legal guardian, at their parent/guardian’s own expense).

CRC CARE (the Cooperative Research Centre for Contamination Assessment and Remediation of the Environment) does scientific research to help stop or clean up contamination of our soil, water and air. Your essay can help!

To enter, click on the links below for more information and to download the entry form, and start writing!



More information




CRC CARE Essay Competition entry form

Terms and conditions

Privacy statement

CleanUp 2017 homepage

CRC CARE website

In Fall of 1997, Club Earth sponsored it's first essay writing contest. We hope to sponsor future writing contests in upcoming semesters. The contest is open to Club Earth members as well as anyone who in interested in generating ideas for saving our planet.

The final deadline for Fall 1997 essay submissions was Tuesday, October 14th, 1997.

The topic for this essay contest asks the question, "Why is it important to care for the environment?"

Fall 1997 Contest Winner:

Craig Dominguez

The other day, as I was preparing to go to the store, I happened to recall a question put to me by my good friend Kamal some years ago. The question was, "Why is it important to care for the environment?". It actually gave me pause as I adjusted my oxygen mask on my way out of the house. I continued to think on this question as I exited the airlock of my house and prepared to burrow through the half-mile deep pile of garbage outside. Having to burrow through "the pile", as it is known, had been of little concern to me until that moment. After all, everyone had to burrow through the layer of garbage that blanketed the entire planet.

I began to think about the question of caring for the environment as I made my way to the store to pick up a few cases of purified water. Though I had grown accustomed to drinking my water from sani-sealed containers (the chemicals and sewage in the natural water supply being too great for even heavy duty, high capacity home water filters), I found myself wondering about what would have happened if anyone HAD heeded all those warnings about neglecting the environment, all those years ago.

Maybe we could have somehow cut down on the pollutants we were putting into the air. Maybe we could have recycled and re-used more material, instead of adding to our piles of waste. Maybe we would have tried harder to keep our natural water sources and other habitats free from pollution.

I had gotten so caught up in nostalgia that I almost didn�t notice that I hadn�t adjusted my oxygen mask properly. Not wanting to breathe the lethal levels of toxins in the air, I quickly re-adjusted my mask and resolved to think only of the present. After all, I reasoned, it isn�t so bad, once you get used to it.

Other essays by Craig Dominguez

Katja Jeney

Why is it important to care about the ENVIRONMENT? Because the environment is our home. If we are destroying our home, we are destroying ourselves. Quite frankly, this is what humankind is presently engaged in: suicide. But this is nothing new, really. We have currently simply reached a much higher capability of doing so. Our (industrialized) lives seem to be structured around this destruction, intertwined in such a way that it seems we would have to give up life as we know it and return to pre-industrialized times in order to save this planet, our environment.

I think that by now we all have heard a lot about WHY it is important to care about the environment (pollution of air and water, destruction of ozone layer...). The question is: HOW will we do it? Education plays a big part: What can we do as individuals, households, schools, companies...Access and availability (of recycling facilities, clean gas...) are the next step. I do think that laws and regulations are necessary, even though they can always be broken or avoided.

What we really need is a raising of consciousness and of awareness of who we are and why we are here. It leads us back to the ancient question about purpose. The misconception that we are here to become materially rich, and to reach the highest position of power, have led us to where we are at today: destroying not only our environment, but also our relationships and ourselves. But we are bound to learn that the essential and basic purpose of our existence, the basis of happiness, is love and harmony within ourselves, in our relationships, and towards our environment. Once our human hearts and spirits have matured to that understanding, we will naturally care about the environment as an extension of ourselves.

I don't think we have to give up modern technology or science at all; guided by a mature mind, heart and spirit, it can take us to a way of living where we will truly take care of, enjoy and live integrated with our environment.

Sarah Jane Melvin

Why is the environment important? That question relates to my past and your future. When I was young I lived on a street with only seven (7) houses, in Asheville, North Carolina. These homes were surrounded by a wooded area. In fact, the forest weaved around the houses, making each house a private place of enjoyment. I used to walk out the back door and greet birds, possums, raccoons, deer and even some wild dogs. The forest was about 100 feet from the houses on all sides. I thought that my children and my children's children would always have access to these wonders. That they would have the opportunity to see the raccoons and possum silently roam the woods, viewing their habits and feeling the love they have for their offspring. Watch the squirrels play, hunt and store their food for winter, maybe even witness a courtship.

I can remember sledding in the summer on pine needles, laughing with joy. Having marshmallow roast after snow sledding in the same area. Digging a hole for the fire, making sure the rock would contain the fire. The older kids would tend the fires, while the younger kids would gather up dead wood for the fuel. All of us were taught to respect the forest, only take what was needed. Our Cherokee friends told us that the animals that lived there needed the trees, grass, pine cones, hickory nuts, acorns and even the horse apples. That the animals needed the trees for protection ass well as food and the forest needed the animals for its survival too.

Christmas time was always a wondrous time. But we children would prepare a special treat at that time for our friends. We would bring out our acorns, hickory nuts, suet and anything else we found in the forest that animals like. We would then decorate a pine tree with all this, Christmas Eve. My father would place a dim light on the tree and we would watch the animals come to eat and marvel at their quiet and speedy feast from their special tree.

I had hoped and dreamed that all the children after me would be able to see these wonders. But no, they are not, for we have trashed the trees, burned them, cut them, killed them with our pollution and our wasteful ways. For we destroy without looking to the future, without thoughts to what will stand in it's place in years to come. The environment we are creating is one of steel and plastic walls to contain the asphalt, gravel and concrete society of the future. We will live in a sterile society and when we want to show our children the forests and animals...we will show them a book, for there will be no forest or animals left.

Other Eco-Essays:

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