The Santa Cruz Climate Action Network is celebrating Earth Day this year by holding its first Climate Action Photo Contest. During a time when the conversation about the fate of our planet can often feel overwhelming, the contest aims to spread positivity and highlight the steps community members are taking to combat climate change.
“We want to change the message from simply doom and gloom and focus on what we can do and what people already are doing,” says Krista Myers, a volunteer with the Santa Cruz Climate Action Network and organizer of the contest. “This contest is one small way to inspire creativity and encourage the people that are already making an effort to continue.”
Whether it’s lobbying a member of Congress or starting a backyard compost, the contest is open to all residents of Santa Cruz County who have taken some form of action—no matter how big or small. Participants are not expected to have a photography background or fancy camera, Myers adds, and photos will not be judged based on their quality.
Five contestants will win $100 in Downtown Dollars, which can be used at select locations in Downtown Santa Cruz. By keeping the prize money local, organizers hope these awards will help support businesses that have been hit by the pandemic. Participants age 21 and younger are also eligible to enter for the three Youth Action Scholarships—$1,000 to be spent as the winners choose.
“Youth have the most at stake,” says Myers. “We don’t want to just cheer them on, we actually want to put money in their hands and say, ‘Take this, and go do something with it.’”
Entries must be received by April 8.
Winners will be announced on Earth Day, April 22, on the organization’s website and social media pages. Additionally, the contest plans to share photos of all contestants, showing off the diversity of ways Santa Cruz residents are working to make a difference.
For more information, visit: scruzclimate.org/photo-contest-2021