Seeking Submissions for Earth Day Essay Contest

Wilton Wildlife Preserve & Park Earth Day Essay Contest 2018

Wilton Wildlife Preserve & Park invites students to participate in an essay contest in honor of the 48th annual Earth Day on April 22.

The theme for Earth Day 2018 is End Plastic Pollution.

There are three categories: high school, middle school, and elementary school.

  • High School entries must be no longer than 650 words.
  • Middle School entries must be no longer than 500 words.
  • Elementary School entries must be at least 10 sentences. Accompanying illustrations are also encouraged.

The contest winner from each of the categories will receive a $50 cash prize!


When the astronauts first saw the Earth from space, it created a new feeling about the fragility and uniqueness of our planet.  They were struck by how all life shares this one, small planet that is surrounded by the vastness of space.  Earth Day was started in 1970 to help promote the importance of protecting our planet, not just for people but for all of the plants and animals that live here.  Some people say that it was the start of the modern environmental movement.  Many laws that protect the Earth came out of that first Earth Day; laws like the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act.


For your essay, please write about the theme, We Need to End Plastic Pollution.

From poisoning and injuring marine life to disrupting human hormones, from littering our beaches and landscapes to clogging our waste streams and landfills, the exponential growth of plastics is now threatening the survival of our planet.  Currently about 300 million tons of plastic are produced each year to make bags, bottles, packages, and other commodities for people all over the world. Unfortunately, only about ten percent of this plastic is properly recycled and reused. The rest ends up as waste in landfills or as litter in our natural environment, where it leaches dangerous chemicals into the nearby soil and water, endangering humans and wildlife alike.  The problem has now grown completely out of control and threatens to affect millions of people and animals if we do not act soon.

In the last decade plastic has become so popular that from 2002-2012 humans produced more plastic than they did in the entire 20th century!  Can you believe that?  While some plastic products are essential in our day-to-day lives, others, such as single-use or disposable plastic products, are not essential and are placing an enormous strain on our environment.  Plastic waste is a huge problem because it never really goes away. Plastic does not biodegrade like other organic materials such as wood and paper. Instead, over time plastic just breaks into smaller and smaller pieces. Because of this, every single piece of plastic ever made is still present today in one form or another. Each year over 100,000 marine animals and one million birds die from ingesting and choking on plastic.  If we don’t address this problem soon, our use of plastic will continue to grow and the problems associated with it will escalate even faster.

How can you make a difference? Even though recycling will play a critical role in reducing the amount of plastic in our landfills and environment, we use too much plastic for recycling to be the only solution. We have to cut back on the amount of plastic we produce and use.  The easiest way to do that is to stop using unnecessary plastic products such as bags and bottles. Instead we need to start using reusable bags, bottles, silverware, dishes, cleaning tools, and other products that are alternatives to plastic. It’s time to end our obsession with plastic and start protecting our environment.

Some ideas for your essay could include:

  • Why our actions as people can impact the Earth
  • Things people do that hurt or help the Earth
  • Personal experiences
  • Anything else that you can think of that relates to the theme!

Deadline:  Monday, April 16, 2018. Winners will be announced in mid-May and prizes awarded at our Annual Wildlife Festival on Sunday, June 3rd.

Submissions may be mailed to Wilton Wildlife Preserve & Park at 80 Scout Road, WIlton, NY 12831 or emailed to by the deadline.   Please include your name, the name of your school, your grade, your teacher’s name,  an email, and a phone number with your entry. Thank you and happy writing!

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