2021 International Compost Awareness Poster Contest

The International Compost Awareness Week (ICAW) Committee invites YOU to get involved in ICAW 2021. We’re looking for anyone, 9th grade (age 14) or older, interested in participating in our 19th Annual Poster Contest. The winning poster will be used to promote International Compost Awareness Week, May 2-8, 2021.


This international contest runs from September 1st until November 2nd, 2020 and is open to anyone age 9th grade or older who wishes to share their artistic creativity to promote this year’s theme. The winning poster will serve as the promotional piece, in the United States, for ICAW 2021, May 2 – 8, 2021, (ICAW is celebrated in other countries, some using a different theme). We invite EVERYONE, to join in the fun – whether or not you have celebrated or been involved in ICAW in the past, we want you to participate this year.

  • The ICAW 2021 theme is based on the circular movement of the organics recycling process flowing from farm to table to farm again. This circular process turns recycled organic materials into compost which creates healthy soils leading to more nutrient dense fruits and vegetables, with that waste going back to being composted and the process starts again. Compost adds carbon back into the soil, promotes erosion control and closes the loop by avoiding the loss of valuable organic resources. From on-farm composting, large-scale commercial composting facilities to community composting and composting in backyards, this amazing resource provides an ecologically responsible option for managing our organic materials. This year’s ICAW 2021 theme, Grow, Eat…COMPOST…Repeat, empowers us to recognize and promote the importance of composting and the use of compost in growing healthier food, supporting healthier soils and, ultimately, creating a more just and sustainable world.
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It’s easy to enter! Here’s how it works: The poster contest winner will have their poster reproduced and distributed to thousands nationwide. It will be the official 2021 International Compost Awareness Week poster and featured on the CCREF website as well as on the US Composting Council website too. The winning “poster artist” will have their name posted on the CCREF website and will be included on all print material and in any press releases in association with our annual ICAW celebration.The successful poster winner will receive a $500 prize. The contest is open to anyone 9th grade(14+) or older from anywhere in the world. This is an international contest. The winning design will be chosen by the end of November.

Enter your design using the online entry form below. Contest ends Nov. 2nd by midnight (ET)

This is YOUR opportunity to display your creative talents and show your belief in composting and in the benefits of using compost!


  • Entries will be eliminated if requirements are not followed exactly.
    Please read before you enter and make sure your poster has everything it needs.

    • Only one entry per person
    • Size is no more than 12” wide X 18” vertical (this is in inches)
    • Resolution is 300 dpi in jpg format
    • Poster contains the theme title, Grow, Eat…COMPOST…Repeat
    • Poster contains the words International Compost Awareness Week May 2 – 8, 2021
    • Do not add additional words to your poster. Only the theme and International Compost Awareness Week May 2 – 8, 2021 are allowed. Any changes to those words or additions will automatically eliminate your entry.
    • If you have a photograph as part of your poster, please confirm that either you took the photo or you have obtained legal rights to use the photo.

Guiding Rules

Official ICAW 2021 Guidelines – Please read carefully.  If design entries do not follow these requirement exactly, the design will be eliminated and not entered into the contest:

  1. Fee: Free! 
  2. Entries per person: Entries are limited to ONE SUBMISSION PER ARTIST. 
  3. Submitting your entry: You must complete the online entry form application and checklist, and submit your poster online. Please include a short paragraph on why you chose to participate in ICAW 2021 and explanation of your poster concept. 
  4. Design: The poster must include the words International Compost Awareness Week May 2 – 8, 2021 along with the poster theme: Grow, Eat…COMPOST…Repeat. Please make sure everything can be easily read from a distance. Do not add additional words to your poster. Failure to follow these instructions will disqualify your poster! 
  5. The concept and images of the poster should be based on the benefits of compost. Compost is the focus of the contest. The judges will especially look for images that demonstrate that organic materials are a key component to healthy soils and for keeping soils and the environment healthy in the future. When creating your poster, please remember that the winning poster will be reproduced and distributed nationally. The Composting Council Research & Education Foundation’s logo, along with sponsor logos, will be added to the poster below the winning image. Do not add any logos to your design.

  6. Only ORIGINAL artwork will be considered. Please check your spelling; Any misspelled words or incorrect numbers will disqualify your poster! 
  7. Posters that include personal or corporate information or product endorsements will be disqualified. 
  8. Copyrighted Images/Subjects: Copyrighted, trademarked products, packaging, brand names and advertisements may not be used within the poster. Original signed release forms are required for persons, whether public or private citizens, who are photographed and appear on the poster. Release forms can be as simple as a paragraph stating “permission” from “subjects” with a printed list of names of the individuals appearing and signed by the individuals. If the subject is under 18 the release form must be signed by a parent or guardian. This rule will be strictly enforced.
  9. Electronic Resolution and Format: Artwork is to be submitted in electronic format with a resolution of 300 dpi and in jpg format. (Note: Poster Winner will be requested to resubmit poster at higher resolution for reproduction purposes.) Poster should measure no larger than 12” wide X 18” high and be vertical (portrait) in orientation. 
  10. Judging and winner selection: All entries will be reviewed by the judges to get down to the top 15 between the two categories. A final vote will be made by CCREF donors and volunteers and USCC members to pick the winning design.
  • Grades 9 to 12
  • College students and adults

The competition will be judged on the following criteria (40 points maximum):

  • Marketability of poster to multiple audiences – 10 points.
  • Creative and original artwork and idea – 10 points.
  • Attractiveness in terms of design and neatness of layout – 10 points.
  • Overall Impact, all graphics are related to the topic and make it easier to understand the poster theme – 10 points.

The overall winner will receive a $500 prize.

11. Final poster: The Composting Council Research & Education Foundation’s ICAW Committee reserves the right to alter the final poster design or to reject all submissions for the final poster design. All submissions become the property of the Composting Council Research & Education Foundation and may be used for commercial purposes. No entries will be returned.

12. Deadline: November 2, 2020, 12 midnight EST

For questions, please send an email to info@compostfoundation.org

Deadline: November 2, 2020

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