The story of your stuff

Your entry

Looking for some ideas to get you started on your TSOYS journey? Check out the winning entries from 2017 and 2018, along with our helpful tips for making a great entry.




Tips for planning your entry

TSOYS is an initiative of the Environmental Protection Agency that challenges second-level students to investigate the life cycle of their everyday ‘stuff’. The EPA’s vision is for a clean, healthy and well-protected environment supporting a sustainable society and economy. Here, it shares its top five tips for the competition.

Be inspired by your ‘stuff’

How do you decide the object on which to base your TSOYS project? Inspiration comes in many forms so start with what you know. Think about the things you use every day and talk to your teacher. Some examples of our everyday go-to objects are mobile phones, toiletries and beauty products, schoolbags, notebooks, drinks containers and the lunch you bring to school. Do you know where any of these objects started out or what they’re made from? What happens to them when you’re finished using them? Our ‘stuff’ and the decisions we make about it directly impacts our planet. Each one of those objects has its own environmental life cycle story to tell, so pick the one you’re most interested in, and start your research.

Unleash your inner detective and begin your investigation

Once you’ve decided the object on which you’re going to base your project, it’s time to start exploring its life cycle. Visit the EPA’s Ireland’s Environment website where you will find a treasure trove of useful information about climate change, biodiversity and waste management. The website has all kinds of interesting infographics that you can download, and reports that you can draw from. Next, search the wider internet for specific information relating to your project, and consult your school and local libraries. Use your detective skills to research what your object of choice is made of, how it is made, whether or not it can be recycled, and what happens to it if it can’t.

Bring your object to life by exploring its life cycle

TSOYS aims to get us thinking, talking and making changes by looking at the entirety of an object’s life cycle. This includes what may become of them if they are correctly recycled, and what can happen to it if they are not. Think about the object you’ve chosen and why you use it on a daily basis. Did you make a conscious decision to purchase an object that is sustainably produced and one that can be recycled or reused? If not, are there such options out there? Incorporate your findings into your competition entry with creativity. Use your unique skills and talents to bring the project to life.

Find the right creative medium for your project

For your TSOYS entry, we want to see your creativity shine through with your learnings. You need to visually tell the story of your object through a medium of your choice such as video (90 seconds), animation, hand-drawn storyboard, infographics or photography (check out the rules for the full list of acceptable formats). Pick the medium that best allows your talents and passion to shine through.

Act now, enter now

We are at a critical point in time that will dictate the future of our planet. Now is the time to turn aspirations for a better world into everyday actions. Your project is one big step to inspiring those around you to make more environmentally conscious decisions with their ‘stuff’. When you’ve finished your research, and put together your project in your medium of choice, ask your teacher to enter it on your behalf. Good luck!