Win $500! at the International Compost Awareness Week (ICAW) Poster Contest 2023

International Compost Awareness Week (ICAW) Poster Contest
International Compost Awareness Week (ICAW) Poster Contest 2023

International Compost Awareness Week (ICAW) Poster Contest 2023

Applications are open for the International Compost Awareness Week (ICAW) Poster Contest 2023 This contest is an annual competition organized by the ICAW Committee ahead of the coming year’s International Compost Awareness Week. This year’s poster contest will run from September 1 to November 1, 2023, ahead of the 2024 International Compost Awareness Week which will take place from 5th-11th May, 2024. Every year is always a new theme for ICAW, which is highlighted on the poster as well as the dates for ICAW. The contest is open to youths aged 14 years and above.

The 2024 International Compost Awareness Week (ICAW) theme is truly a collaborative and international effort. This year, the organizers have teamed up with the International Compost Alliance (ICA), which includes compost associations from around the world, to select: COMPOST… Nature’s Climate Champion! The theme was chosen by participating international partners incorporating the collective focus on one of the initiatives of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), which is “Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.”

The 2024 theme best reflects the UN goal by highlighting the role compost plays in fighting climate change. Those roles include:

  • Decreasing methane: Methane, a greenhouse gas twenty-five times as powerful as carbon dioxide, can be significantly reduced through the recycling of organics instead of being landfilled.
  • Helping with climate change mitigation: Compost offers a significant answer to climate change mitigation. Compost’s return to the soil serves as a “carbon bank,” helping to store carbon thereby removing it from the atmosphere.
  • Reducing fertilizer inputs, reducing the pollution created to manufacture those inputs.
  • Increasing resilience: Compost helps to increase resilience to the effects of climate change such as drought and extreme weather.

Eligibility for the International Compost Awareness Week

  • Age 14 and above
  • Grades 9 to 12
  • College students and adults

The overall winner will receive a $500 prize.

Poster Contest Requirement for the International Compost Awareness Week

Entries will be eliminated if requirements are not followed exactly.

  • Only One Entry Per Person
  • Size is 12” wide X 18” vertical (this is in inches)
  • Resolution is 300 dpi in jpg format
  • The poster contains the theme name: COMPOST… Nature’s Climate Champion!
  • The poster contains the words: International Compost Awareness Week
  • Poster contains the date: May 5 – 11, 2024
  • Do not add additional words to your poster. Only the theme and International Compost Awareness Week and May 5 – 11, 2024 are allowed. Any changes to those words or additions will automatically eliminate your entry.
  • If you have a photograph as part of your poster, please confirm that either you took the photo or you have obtained legal rights to use the photo
  • Fee: Free!
  • Submitting your entry: You must complete the online entry form application and checklist, and submit your poster online. Please include a short paragraph on why you chose to participate in the ICAW 2024 poster contest and give an explanation of your poster concept.
  • The concept and images of the poster should be based on the benefits of composting and composting food and yard waste. Compost is the focus of the contest. The judges will especially look for images that demonstrate that organic materials are a key component to healthy soils and for keeping soils and the environment healthy in the future. When creating your poster, please remember that the winning poster will be reproduced and distributed nationally. The Compost Research & Education Foundation’s logo, along with sponsor logos, will be added to the poster below the winning image. Do not add any logos to your design.
  • Only ORIGINAL artwork will be considered. Please check your spelling; Any misspelled words or incorrect numbers will disqualify your poster!
  • Posters that include personal or corporate information or product endorsements will be disqualified.
  • Copyrighted Images/Subjects: Copyrighted, trademarked products, packaging, brand names, and advertisements may not be used within the poster. Original signed release forms are required for persons, whether public or private citizens, who are photographed and appear on the poster. Release forms can be as simple as a paragraph stating “permission” from “subjects” with a printed list of names of the individuals appearing and signed by the individuals. If the subject is under 18 the release form must be signed by a parent or guardian. This rule will be strictly enforced.
  • Electronic Resolution and Format: Artwork is to be submitted in electronic format with a resolution of 300 dpi and in jpg format. (Note: The poster Winner will be requested to resubmit the poster at higher resolution for reproduction purposes.) The poster should measure 12” wide X 18” high and be vertical (portrait) in orientation
  • Judging and winner selection: All entries will be reviewed by the judges to get down to the top 15 between the two categories. A final vote will be made by CREF donors volunteers and USCC members to pick the winning design. The competition will be judged on the following criteria (40 points maximum):
    • Marketability of poster to multiple audiences – 10 points.
    • Creative and original artwork and idea – 10 points.
    • Attractiveness in terms of design and neatness of layout – 10 points.
    • Overall Impact, All graphics are related to the topic and make it easier to understand the poster theme – 10 points.
  • Final poster: The Compost Research & Education Foundation’s ICAW Committee reserves the right to alter the final poster design or to reject all submissions for the final poster design. All submissions become the property of the Compost Research & Education Foundation and may be used for commercial purposes. No entries will be returned.

Deadline: November 1, 2023, 12 midnight EST

Apply here

Visit the (ICAW) Poster Contest page

FAQ for International Compost Awareness Week

  1. Why is composting important during International Compost Awareness Week? Composting is highlighted during ICAW to raise awareness about its benefits and encourage more people to adopt this eco-friendly practice.
  2. Can I compost all my kitchen waste? Most kitchen waste, like fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, and eggshells, can be composted. Avoid dairy and meat products.
  3. What are the different composting methods? There are various methods, including traditional composting, vermicomposting using worms, and bokashi composting with beneficial microorganisms.
  4. Is composting suitable for small spaces like apartments? Yes, you can compost in small spaces using compact bins or indoor vermiculture setups.
  5. How long does it take for compost to be ready for use? The time required varies but typically ranges from a few months to a year, depending on factors like temperature and materials used.
  6. Can compost be used as a natural pesticide? Yes, compost can act as a natural pesticide by enhancing soil health, which in turn helps plants resist pests.


International Compost Awareness Week serves as a reminder of the positive impact composting can have on our planet. By embracing this eco-friendly practice, we contribute to a greener, healthier future for generations to come.

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