ecomaine announces Finalists for 2023 Upcycle Challenge

Students’ designs to be voted on by public through April, winner to receive $500 for school

ecomaine has announced three finalists for its school-based Upcycle Challenge, which will award $500 to a participating student’s school. Finalists include overall challenge winners from 2022 and 2021 facing off with a newcomer in 2023.

The Upcycle Challenge asks students in ecomaine’s communities to use items that ordinarily would have been disposed of, to make all-new, functional ones.  ecomaine’s Outreach & Recycling Committee selected the finalists, based on the incorporation of post-consumer materials, the ingenuity and functionality of the new creation, inclusion of students in the process, as well as the approval from a teacher or advisor.

The finalists are:

  • Aurora, Cape Elizabeth High School: an all-new jumper made from old clothing (an old dress, old pants, with a touch from an old homecoming dress; 2022 winner)
  • Emma, Ruby, Christine & Scarlett, Fiddlehead Center for the Arts, Scarborough: a doll house from an old wreath box, with furniture, curtains, and accessories made from old straws, cardboard, paper, paper and toilet paper tubes, left over flooring tiles, sharpie caps etc. (Fiddlehead Center for the Arts was 2021’s winner)
  • The Intercultural Community Center, Westbrook: a wind chime to replace the ICC’s old one, made from an upcycled bike wheel, glass bottles, and pages from old books (also includes natural materials: seashells, pine cones, and leaves)

“It’s incredible to see the ingenuity of Maine’s students,” said Matt Grondin, ecomaine’s Director of Communications & Public Affairs.  “We find that, year after year, we’re so impressed to see how young Mainers are looking at waste as a resource, keeping it out of landfills, and putting it to better, more creative uses.  We’re looking forward to seeing the results of the final voting.”

ecomaine’s Outreach & Recycling Committee made special note of an entry by Sydney Doyle of Mt. Ararat Middle School, who crafts reusable tote bags from old pet feed bags; however, Bowdoin, Bowdoinham, Harpswell, and Topsham are not ecomaine member communities, which unfortunately makes her designs ineligible for the grand prize – but Sydney will receive an ecomaine prize pack for her terrific work.

Finalists will be voted on by the public’s selections online through 8:00 p.m. on April 30, 2023, and the grand prize will be awarded to the winner’s school, school club, or activity of choice.

Aurora, Cape Elizabeth HS (jumper made from reused clothing, fabric scraps)
Emma, Ruby, Christine & Scarlett, Fiddlehead Center for the Arts, Scarborough (dollhouse made from cardboard, sharpie caps, scrap materials)
Intercultural Community Center, Westbrook (wind chime made from a bike wheel, glass bottles, and found natural items)

Cast Your Upcycle Challenge Vote Here!