Search for the Most Innovative "Green" Office Product | Arts & Culture

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Search for the Most Innovative "Green" Office Product

With a goal of searching worldwide for the next great idea for environmentally preferable office products, Staples is giving Jacksonville-area college students an opportunity to compete for a $25,000 grand prize if they submit a 1,000 word description of their idea by Dec. 23, 2010.Staples, Inc., the world’s largest office products company, and the Golisano Institute for Sustainability at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), just launched the 2nd Annual Global EcoEasy Challenge to find the world’s most ingenious concepts for environmentally preferable office products.  The 2011 Challenge is open to all undergraduate and graduate student teams enrolled at universities located within 16 select countries.

Staples and RIT have made it easy for students to submit their ideas and become the next great inventor of an EcoEasy office product. Interested students need to simply submit a 1,000 word description of their unique idea for a new, more environmentally preferable design of an office product. Designs may use environmentally preferable material or present a new product promoting sustainability.  Staples will invite up to eight finalist teams to Washington, D.C. in April, 2011, to present their product idea to a panel of judges.  The judges will award the grand-prize winning team with $25,000 and two runners-up will receive $5,000 each. 

“We were incredibly impressed with the level of creativity and talent displayed at the 2010 competition.  The leading entries included concepts such as a desk chair that controlled office power consumption and a 100 percent recyclable writing instrument,” said Mark Buckley, vice president of environmental affairs for Staples.  “Staples is committed to creatively finding new ways to make environmentally preferable office products an everyday reality and encouraging students to consider the impact of a product’s design on the environment. This challenge allows us to celebrate environmentally preferable products as we reward students for their ideas and promote a new generation of products that are better for the environment.”

This year, for the first time, the public will be able to act as a judge and help determine the winning submission. Anyone can visit the site once a day from March 8, 2011, through March 22, 2011, to vote for their favorite EcoEasy office product at 

“We are looking forward to working with Staples once again to raise awareness of the growing need and demand for sustainable products,” said Dr. Nabil Nasr, assistant provost and director of the Golisano Institute for Sustainability at RIT.  “The global interest surrounding this Challenge has grown and we are pleased to be able to welcome a more extensive group of creative and talented students from around the world to share their winning ideas.”

The contest is open to teams of up to four undergraduate or graduate students, 18 years or older, that are enrolled at universities based in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada (excluding Quebec), China, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, the Netherlands, United Kingdom and the United States.  Interested students can register for the contest at  All teams must submit their final concepts no later than Dec. 23, 2010.

For additional information on how to take part in the Staples Global EcoEasy Challenge, visit

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