Short story competition: Theme: clean vs green. Deadline July 22

£500 prize (or local currency equivalent).

We need to know how to keep our environment and bodies free from harmful bacteria, but many beliefs relating to bacteria and cleaning products are misinformed, which can lead to harmful effects on our environment and on our health.

Much waste and unnecessary carbon emissions are generated by people’s concerns about hygiene. For example, attempts to get condiments such as tomato ketchup provided in bottles rather than individual plastic sachets are hindered by hygiene concerns. Washing laundry at higher than necessary temperatures increases energy bills and carbon emissions. Over-use of cleaning products in the home and on our bodies leads to chemical waste and health hazards due to toxicity of chemicals. Attitudes to hygiene are also a barrier to sustainable practices such as buying second hand and borrowing rather than buying.

This is a targeted competition aimed at using an engaging fictional story to help readers understand how over-cleaning and misinformation about bacteria can mean that we can end up killing our bodies ‘good’ bacteria through over-use of harsh cleaning products.

We will provide relevant information and a free virtual workshop early June (optional) for entrants. Your challenge is to write a short story (between 1000 and 3000 words) that helps to raise awareness and shift attitudes, especially for those people who assume that the more detergent the better. Deadline 21st July 2022.

We hope to have runners up prizes too so watch this space!

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