Former winners of ‘The Story of Your Stuff’ competition Lauren Lehane and Amber Pomeranz, students from Presentation Secondary School Milltown, Co Kerry pictured at the 2019 launch. The annual competition challenges secondary school students to investigate the life cycle of an item that they use every day, such as deodorant, their mobile phone, coffee cups, lunchboxes, and to use their artistic talents to visually tell the story of that item. Entrants are encouraged to use the EPA’s Ireland’s environment website, as part of their research. (Pic: Marc O’Sullivan)

Second-level students are being encouraged to creatively trace the lifecycle of their everyday items and tell its story.

The call comes as part of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ‘The Story of Your Stuff 2019’ competition, which has been launched.

The competition inspires students to use their artistic talents to visually tell the story of any item they use – from mobile phones to deodorants or a hairbrush.

It raises awareness of where an item comes from, its carbon footprint, what happens to it when it is used and eventually disposed of, and what impact this has on all aspects of our environment. 

Core information on challenges to our environment is available to entrants through the EPA’s web resource.

Students are invited to use a visual creative medium of their choice, including video, animation, drawings and photography, to tell the story of their chosen item, considering the entirety of its life cycle.


Speaking at the launch of the EPA’s annual nationwide competition, Dr Jonathan Derham, EPA Programme Manager commented: “The EPA is calling on second-level students, who are influential consumers and will be the decision-makers of tomorrow, to use their unique artistic talents and inspire others to make low carbon and environmentally conscious consumption choices. We have a very high quality environment in Ireland. How we choose to live affects the air we breathe, the water we drink and swim in, and the beauty spots such as mountains we walk in. It is through our consumption decisions – the stuff we buy and how it is used – that these impacts are sharply revealed.”

The winner of The Story of Your Stuff will receive €500 for themselves and €500 for their school.

Competition guidelines and tips are available at and the deadline for entries is Friday, 8th March.

Last year’s competition was won by Amber Pomeranz and Lauren Lehane from Presentation Secondary School, Milltown, Killarney, Co Kerry, who made a video on the story of chewing gum.