2022 Current Issue

Achieving a Zero Waste Future for Massachusetts

There is no “waste” in nature’s economy.   Can we achieve zero waste in our human economy? 

Many building blocks for a zero waste future are in our hands today, but major changes in how we produce, distribute, sell, and use products and services as a society will be required.

Achieving zero waste is particularly important because some of our communities bear more than their fair share of the negative consequences of our past and current waste management practices.  This results in major health and economic consequences for the people who live there.  Addressing these wrongs will be an important part of a zero waste future.

The “circular economy” is a key concept for envisioning a zero waste future. Envirothon teams will find that their understanding of ecosystem science, and how we manage and use natural resources, will be important to imagining and engineering solutions.

As we move toward the goal of zero waste, we will also be moving toward climate solutions, addressing energy issues, and promoting social and environmental justice.  

Some Current Issue resources for teams:

2022 Current Issue Guidance and Resources for Teams.  This is an overview of how the Current Issue work with links to key aspects of the issue to be investigated.

2022 Current Issue Community Research Checklist

2022 Current Issue Problem (to be published in March)

2022 Current Issue Scoresheet (to be published in March)

Mapping program developed by MassGIS. (coming soon) Use of maps will be an essential element of your team presentation.  A tutorial screen pops up when you open the program. There is also a Webinar recording that walks you through the features.

How will teams present their findings?

The decision about whether the 2022 Mass Envirothon competition will be remote or in-person will be made in March. Below is the information from the 2021 remote competition.

To participate in the competition, each team will submit a stand-alone narrated video presentation AND participate in a zoom discussion with a panel of judges.  The video’s content and the discussion with judges will be the basis for scoring.

Judges will score teams based on the clarity and quality of their research and recommendations, as evidenced by the submitted presentation and their discussion with the team afterwards.

Judges will NOT score teams based on the technical quality or creativity of the video presentation.  (There is an opportunity for recognition of high-quality presentation – see below).

Presentations and discussions will be recorded, and the highest scoring presentations/discussions will be judged a second time by a final panel to ensure fairness.