Explore our hashtag #T4CPhotoContest to see all of the amazing contest submissions.




Thank you to everyone who participated and shared their Spirit of Earth Day!


Cash prizes were sponsored by
Our Mission - Waterboys


It’s time to announce our winners!
(drum roll please)


✦  1st Place  ✦

There are some places on this Earth that make you stop in your tracks, stop mid-sentence even; they shake you out of your routine and demand that you breathe a little deeper, look a little harder, and appreciate a little fuller.
Earth Day, for some, is a once-in-a-year reminder to do just that. In the midst of a hectic man-made society, we are reminded to go back to our roots.It’s a day to reset our internal clocks and be more deliberate in our actions.
While loving and caring for the Earth is not a disposition that should stop when the clock hits midnight, the “Spirit of Earth Day” allows us to recalibrate and consider the incredible nature of the planet we inhabit, reawakening the basal joy in getting outside again.
– Kate Holland


✦  2nd Place  ✦

This picture was taken after waiting for an hour on top of a peak for the clouds to clear. It’s little moments when nature shows it’s beauty that are special to me. Earth day carries a similar meaning, we are surrounded by wonderful landscapes but I feel the strongest connection in small intimate moments like this.
–  Chris Petrilla


✦  3rd Place  ✦

The “Spirit of Earth Day” reminds us how important it is to take care of the Earth and enjoy it while we do!! This picture from the Tatoosh range in Washington shows Mt. Rainier, where the glaciers have been shrinking for several years and temperature swings affect the snowpack through the year. Nothing will convince you to work harder to preserve the “Spirit of Earth Day” more than getting out and exploring the Earth. So remember to get out, enjoy yourself, and Leave No Trace!
– Adam Benway


✦  Honorable Mentions  ✦
(in no particular order)

“9 million species, 1 home”
The moment I saw this gorgeous rose, I was so tempted to take it home or give it to someone. But then what? The rose would have just died between the pages of my diary. This little guy made me realize that the rose serves a purpose much bigger than what it could have served me. Blissfully unaware, he would go on to pollinate other flowers, playing a crucial role in maintaining the planet’s ecosystem.
Earth Day is a reminder that we are not alone on this beautiful planet. It is about allowing the 9 million species thrive without us getting in the way. The planet offers sufficient resources for all, if only we can learn how to share.
– Shivani Badiger


We are part of the same entity.  The “spirit of Earth Day” reminds me that it’s a collective; it reminds me that this place we’re fortunate enough to call home is full of lives that aren’t just our own. It makes me think that all we have in this life is one another, and we should want to fight— not just to keep what is around us alive, but to live.
– Ansley Watkins


“We all like to congregate at boundary conditions. Where land meets water. Where earth meets air, Where body meets mind. Where space meets time. We like to be on one side, and look at the other” ~ Douglas Adams
– Anika Kamisetty


The world is big and we are small.
Yet, as humans beings, given our incredible ability to reason, we are able to manipulate our world to meet our needs. Something I have struggled with accepting in my life is climate change and the fact that my generation did not create the systems that lead to its development, yet we are the ones who will see its effects. The science has shown for decades that our climate is changing because our human creations churn out CO2 at an unprecedented rate. Why did nothing change then?
I would be lying if I said that there were not moments when I feel utterly hopeless; when I feel as if there is no possible way that we as a humans can remedy our mistakes. In these moments I take a step back. I look at the people around me. They are full of so much light. Our generation gives me so much hope. We are realizing how toxic our world is, how capitalism has made people greedy, how we have been lied to. And there is a fierce fire raging within us to make the world a kinder place. To heal our world with love and empathy. To live in harmony with all life.
For me, “Spirit of Earth Day” is a testimony to the spirit of the people. For we are stewards of the Earth. It is our job to protect, nourish, and love it. For if we do that, we will receive all those things in return. There is one thing that we can control in this world and that is ourselves. We have the ability to choose how we spend our time, how we treat the people around us, and how we treat our environment. So I ask you all, please choose wisely. Run free in the meadows, go sing in the mountains, dive deep in the oceans, and love the Earth, and it’s creatures, and the people who wander across it. Love with all of your heart.
I took this picture in Hawaii during the summer of 2019. There is a phrase there that the people often say which is “aloha ’aina, malama pono”. It means “Love the land, cherish it righteously”.
– Kaleigh O’Reilly


To me, nature has always been a source of peace. When I am anxious, I think of a place like this that can remain the same for thousands of years. Lake Ringedalsvatnet is more than 10 miles away from any road and is a hidden gem seen by only the few who pass on their way to Trolltunga.
– Luke Maymir


To me, the spirit of Earth Day is about embracing your sense of adventure. I took this photo while kayaking with a friend. We saw a little creek and decided to explore, and we had a great time following the creek not knowing where it would take us. It’s really important to me to be able to let my adventurous side out because it lets me connect with the world around me by seeing things and going places I’ve never seen or been before. Earth Day is a great chance to go on an adventure and appreciate the beautiful world around us!
– Cade Capper


This past summer I had the opportunity to study abroad in Uganda, and the natural beauty I found there blew me away. It is such a naturally rich country and continent, with beautiful, majestic animals. This represents the “Spirit of Earth Day” for me because it really encapsulates some of the natural beauty you can find on our planet.
– Julia Boyer 


In this time, I was able to visit the country my parents grew up in and see how they view the Earth and the resources provided. The Philippines is filled with smog and pollution within the cities but once you leave that to the country, you can see how people will utilize the earth and celebrate it. The “Spirit of Earth Day” is realizing and taking the time to celebrate the Earth around us- to take the time in showing how you can truly utilize the resources provided in a more sustainable manner. Rather than seeing it as a use and dispose, think of where it all came from and remember the beauty in which you are taking away.
–  Zarah Fulay


I recently went to Cambodia to take photos for an NGO there that offers medical and financial care to impoverished villages.
In the middle of this country ravished by genocide and war, wildlife is few and far between. However, the dark blue tiger butterfly prevailed, much like the Khmer people themselves. This is what the spirit of the earth is all about, persevering through trials and finding beauty in the little things.
– Hannah Martin


Over winter break, I had the opportunity to head down to Antarctica and not only see the southernmost continent, but to experience and learn about the almost untouched wildlife and incredible scenery which inhabits it. This unedited photo was taken on a sea kayak in the arctic sea, just as the clouds were rolling out and the sun was rolling in, a small portion of a colony of Adelie penguins.
– Lillian Chow


“Spirit of Earth Day” to me means finding ways to be grateful for our planet everyday, even these times of uncertainty.
Recycling, taking a walk, or planting a tree, are just a few of the things we can do to show our appreciation. Our lives may be moving slower than normal, but the Earth is still working hard to keep us alive.
–  Hannah Comune


This is Jamie, an African leopard. My heart belongs to the wild and the creatures that inhabit it. My “Spirit of Earth Day” urges to protect, conserve, and connect with the wonderful lands that nourish the survival of these astounding animals.
– Allison Mayfield-Brown


Traveling to Colorado and climbing up nearly 11,000 ft to admire the Maroon Bells is an experience of a lifetime. Hiking around the base and admiring the wildlife will send chills down your spine as you experience the tremendous forces of Earth that created the beauty around you.
– Mukul Govande


“Life through the eyes of the fallen”
This image depicts baby Sequoias standing tall, clicked through the hollow trunk of a fallen tree at Sequoia National Park. This national park was especially created to protect the Sequoias from extensive logging in the 1800’s. The park now is breathtaking and an ode to what can be achieved when we make an effort to protect nature. “Spirit of Earth Day” is all about celebrating life and making a continued effort to sustain it. When we choose to destroy life of trees and other species for our personal gain, our actions have ripple effects. They cause problems we could never have foreseen. But as the world has witnessed on multiple occasions, life on Earth does recover once humans are out of the frame.
– Aishwarya Badiger 


Photo near the top of Maroon Bells peak in Colorado. My “Spirit of Earth Day” means preserving the Earth for the next generation of children.
– Jared Frees


Thank you to our amazing team of judges!
Paul Acheson
Erica Hu
Jonathan King

Sustainability at Ohio State (@OhioStSustain) | تويتر