Monday, January 07, 2008

Letterboxing Green - 2008 Contest

Happy New Year everyone. I have been quiet of late because I am finishing my masters thesis and don't have much time to letterbox until summer. So in my absence I figured I would give you something to do. With the new year, it is time for a new challenge, so here you go.

This challenge is fairly straight forward. As more and more of America is starting to focus on going green (hopefully this is not just the latest fad), I thought it might be time to think about sustainable letterboxing. In that spirit, I would like to challenge everyone to think reduce, reuse, and recycle in future plantings. So here are the rules.

1) try to use nothing new - you do not have to use entirely recycled materials ( I understand that recycled glue can be hard to come by) but the more of your box that is recycled (i.e. logbooks, the box itself, even stamp materials) the more it will count toward the contest. Bonus points for people who use materials that have been recycled more than once. For, example I often use old MU stationary paper for logbook pages. This stationary from the early 90s was made from 100% recycled paper to begin with, hence when used for logbook pages it is kind of being double recycled (if there is such a thing). Anyway the more generations of recycling you can employ the better.

2) leave no trace - special emphasis should be focused on placement. Placement should consider detrimental effects to the location and be done in such a way to limit the environmental impact or footprint left behind by the finders. One easy way to meet this goal is to try and place the box in a place near paved trails or sidewalks/roads. Thus I encourage all boxes to be handicap accessible, though this is by no means a requirement. Another part of reducing impact is limiting the number of boxes in any one area, so I ask that all entries be placed in locations where there are no existing boxes within a close distance. Other tips might include requiring public or non-motorized transportation in the clue or anything that reduces the impact a letterboxer would have during a hunt.

3) environmental theme - I think everyone (myself included) could use a good dose of education on sustainability and other green practices, so I ask that the all entries have some sort of environmental theme. Extra points will be given for those who address topics with creativity, such as using Dr. Seuss's the Lorax to educate about global warming. The more creative the bigger the impression and the more longer lasting the lesson, so extra kudos for those who tackle environmental issues in new and fun ways.

That is pretty much the how of it. Boxes should be placed anytime in the first six months of the year (Jan. - July 2008) though there is some leeway for late entries. We will hold a judging at the fall or winter 08 gathering. The winner will receive an urban camouflaged box, similar in idea to Charlotte but of a different design. Boxes may be located anywhere in Mid-Missouri (I may even accept contest entries from outlying areas such as K.C. or St. Louis, so contact me if you aren't in Mid-MO for more details) Please let me know if you have any questions and good luck. I look forward to finding some super entires.

Happy planting,


Fox-fyr said...

On the idea of Leave No Trace, I am certified to teach Leave No Trace awareness courses to groups (free if it's done through the park). I was thinking of doing one in conjunction with an event sometime this year. Any thoughts?

Alexis said...

what a wonderfully "green" idea! i will definitely be participating.

i had an interesting thought along these lines the other day. tell me what you think of this: i have a really fun looking gift card that is now used up. i have also been having trouble finding good backings for my somewhat flimsy pink stuff. the gift card is just as flimsy as the pink stuff. but...if i glue other used giftcards together & then glue that stack to the carved pink stuff...that should make a really cool, recycled backer for my stamp. right? anyone ever tried this?

The B Hunters said...

We'd be interested in planting a green box :) My husband has been wanting to make at least 2 green goals this year so perhaps this will be in conjunction with those. I'll follow the rules set forth, if there are others, let me know. St. Louis may be too far to judge, but I'll still represent. Good luck on your thesis. We've been through that stage (and the dissertation) and both are time consuming, but well worth it on the other end. Kudos to your wife and kids for their support. The B Hunters

moosenmamma said...

This is such a great idea! The reason I started my family with letterboxing was because of the opportunity it gave us to appreciate our environment. They've really been disturbed to see some of the discarded waste when we visited otherwise beautiful sites. We take an old Wal-Mart bag with us to pick up as we go. (also makes for an excellent 'cover' when you're dealing with rambunctious boys who aren't much good at stealth!) We're going to do this for sure!

Clyde Bentley said...

To paraphrase the contractor's comment my sustainable architect son-in-law quotes:

"I can paint that box any color you want."

(But count us in)

C2B2 -- who marched in the Earth Day I protest.

Lnd-Crzr said...

Where did you find the blue 'thingy' with the poem? Is that an actual piece or a photo from the online world?

ahistory said...

Fox-fyr, I am always supportive of promotiong leave no trace.

Lnd-Crzr, that tile is located in the Recycle Garden in London. I have never been though I have seen many, many pictures. I can't remember where I found the image. I think off some art blog. Check out
for a few more pictures of the garden. If I could only make it to London I would plant a letterbox there disguised as a little piece of recycled art.