Liberal Arts Competition
Thank you to everyone around the world who participated in HNP Ontario's Liberal Arts Competition!
The Liberal Arts Competition was a writing and art competition designed as an opportunity for youth to delve into the urgency of environmental action. Participants had the chance to win $350 in prizes from our amazing sponsors!
Grand Award Winners were split into the following three categories: visual art, poem and essay!
This Year's Theme:
GREENWASHING IN CORPORATIONS
GRAND AWARD WINNERS
Visual Art Grand Award Winner
Poem Grand Award Winner
The Touch of a Green Leader by Molly Liu
I chose the theme: "the influence of a green leader." Through the usage of the reverse poem, I wanted to show what happens when you have a green leader and when you don't. When you read it the first time (top to bottom), it's when there isn't a green leader. You start with caring extremely about the planet, however, the leader convinces you that Earth is okay so your thought process changes into believing that the world is going to be all right. However, when you read it in reverse, it would be the opposite. The stanza (three lines) in the middle, showed the green leader in this case. The audience would think the world was okay in the beginning and then start to care about fighting for the world in the end.
Lies of Death by Anonymous
I called my art piece “Lies of Death” since corporate industries are lying to get profit, but through all the lies, they are affecting our environment, and wildlife is dying because of it. My art piece is seen as two hands shaking, with greenwashing products crossing them. The grey hand represents the companies who are deceiving the consumers. They make the consumer believe they are helping our Earth, but they are not. Which brings us to the other hand, which represents our environment, and how corporate industries are destroying it with their greenwashing products. The products walking on the hands, it shows how after the products are used, it enters our environment. Every “step” the products make into our environment the leaves turn yellow, implicating the death of each plant. This relates to the competition theme since it shows how the greenwashing in corporate industry is affecting the area we live in, by contaminating the wildlife.
The Touch of a Green Leader: A Reverse Poem
We need a green leader.
The trees have lost their colour,
the sun has lost its light.
Symbols of a better world are gone.
There is no Planet B.
This is our only chance,
to make a better world for ourselves.
Our trees and grass are dying
and yet you still say
this planet is okay.
So, who cares that there is no Planet B?
It does not affect me.
I will not be here
when the world ends.
The sun shines brighter than ever,
the trees are still healthy.
Do we need a green leader?
-now read it backwards!
Essay Grand Award Winner
Electric Cars: Reliable in the Future? by Michelle Vaiz
There are many opinions regarding electric cars; Some argue that they are beneficial to the environment while others believe that they do more harm than good. Electric cars have been around for 100 years, according to The History of Electric Car, but have been recently popularized amid climate change and global warming cautions. In fact, the government provides a benefit to those who purchase electric cars. For example “The State of California provides a rebate of $1,000 to $4,500 through the California Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP) for the purchase or lease of qualified vehicles” (Benefits of Buying an Electric Car, 2022). Although, many people seem to hesitate to make this change, as they doubt the effectiveness of electric vehicles. Sources show that electric cars benefit the environment positively and, despite speculations, they can replace gas cars for a greener future.
Electrical cars are a definite solution to reducing the carbon emissions of the world. It is proven that electric cars have a positive effect on the environment and prevent the growth of global warming. “In over a year, just one electric car on the roads can save an average of 1.5 million grams of CO2” (EDF Energy, n.d). Saving 1.5 million grams of CO2 per car will significantly help reduce carbon emissions, and with a majority of the population using gasoline-powered vehicles as their main method of transportation, by switching to electric cars, we will be able to prevent global warming from worsening. Many companies, such as Tesla and Hyundai, offer hybrid or electric cars and there are electric car charging stations available at gas stations.
Although many people refrain from purchasing electric cars because of their belief that electric cars are not as reliable as traditional gasoline or diesel-powered vehicles. Many news articles highlight instances where electric cars have been harmful or defective, but they fail to mention the positive effects of electric cars as well. In fact, most electric car manufacturing errors do not pertain to the main infrastructure of the vehicle itself. Rather, they affect the technological aspects and gadgets in the car itself. In the article, Are Electric Cars More Reliable, it is written, “Does that mean that electric drivetrains are less reliable than their more complex gasoline counterparts? Absolutely not. Digging deeper into the numbers, the vast majority of issues that arose in electric cars had nothing to do with the drivetrains. Most issues, in fact, were with technology features like infotainment screens, reversing cameras, and other gadgets” (Yap, 2022). One other major concern with electric cars is their ability to explode in comparison with gasoline cars. Although, if we practically analyze this situation, gas cars are also prone to catching fire as well, and gas-related ignitions are more common than those in battery-powered cars. Statistics shown by AutoInsuranceEZ state “that for every 100,000 EVs (Electric Vehicles), there are about 25 fires each year. That compares to 1,530 car fires in the same number of gas-powered vehicles annually. Gas-powered cars typically catch fire due to fuel leaks or crashes” (Weise, 2022).
Electric cars have the ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions greatly and are reliable even though they are doubted. If a majority of the car-owning population switched to electric vehicles rather than their gasoline-powered counterparts, carbon emissions and fossil fuel usage (in the form of gas) can be highly reduced. Many people turn down electric cars because of their fear of flaws. Although, the risks of owning electric cars are the same as if not less than, gasoline cars as well. In the future, we can continue using electric cars as a way to greenwash our daily lives. As technology advances, there will be more improvements and fixes to come. With many companies also working on electrical vehicles, we can expect more reliable and even more efficient cars in the near future. So yes, electric cars can be relied on, and with more technological advancements as they upgrade, they will become the car of the future.
Honourable Creativity Mention
Greenwashing by Oliver Lai Wai
This composite created in Photoshop depicts the meaning of greenwashing: when companies provide misleading information to consumers by claiming to be environmentally friendly. The money on the butterfly, the grass on the tie, and the factories on the shoulder illustrate the investors’ use of nature for their benefit. In the background, nature is painted over the reality of carbon emissions to show that greenwashing alienates customers’ perception of pollution from companies’ fake sustainability goals. This false hope causes delusive contentment, which is used as an advantage to increase incomes. Furthermore, the robot's head represents the rise of technology and how it is often perceived as the cure for environmental unsustainability. This further adds to the point that companies use positive factors related to nature as an advantage to make more profit by showing clients their false goals for the future. Last but not least, the flying money shows the financial exploits from greenwashing, and the sewer located on the blazer’s button adds to pollution.