When Sheila, our executive director, told me that we wanted to have a video contest on e-waste I was so excited and couldn’t wait to start putting everything together. But then it occurred to me that I didn’t know where to start.
The videos had to be short and about e-waste – that I knew. How does someone explain all the problems that are created by e-waste? There are the chemicals found electronics, the ever-growing heap of e-waste that is being sent to developing countries, the use of prison labor to recycle e-waste and the need to get better takeback programs. That sentence alone leaves me winded. Images of the consequences that e-waste has on the environmental and communities often impact us more than just words .
But we also knew that we didn’t want people to feel hopeless. We wanted these videos to empower people and let them know that the first step in solving many of these problems is merely picking a recycler from the right list.
It seemed like a challenge, but we knew that there were people out there who were up for the challenge. With a little bit of guidance our contestants, some with little or no knowledge of the e-waste, produced great videos and learned about the issues. Michael’s video, the 1st place winner from Texas, used clean and simple graphics to create his call to action.
Our 2nd place winner went a slightly different route and chose to submit a live action video. Clearly showing that a laptop isn’t “rubbish” the light-hearted video reminds us that advocacy isn’t about doom and gloom.
The 3rd place contestants (yes, there was a tie) entered vastly different but equally effective videos. “Do your part, Recycle” was able to give a simple message in just over 30 seconds, and the “TV ZONE” produced a nostalgic smile on the faces of SVTC staff.
As of this morning (Monday) 641 people have watched our videos. We can’t wait for the 2010 contest.