Are you someone who loves the environment, and has a flair for photography? You could win a trip to Costa Rica or a new camera!

Our friends at the Rainforest Alliance have launched their annual “Picture Our Planet” photo contest. This contest celebrates the essence of sustainable tourism and uses photography to capture the world’s most beautiful places in a single shot.

Sponsored by Polaroid and Tour Operators Promoting Sustainability (also known as TOPS), this contest will allow folks to take part in one of the best parts of living on this earth; this, of course, is because the beauty of travel is being able to capture it on film.



“Taking photos is an essential part of the travel experience,” said Tensie Whelan, president of the Rainforest Alliance. “To ensure that the world’s iconic destinations — and the people and wildlife that depend on them — continue to thrive and prosper for generations to come, travelers must engage in sustainable tourism.”

The grand prize winner receives an eight-day, seven-night eco-trip for two to Costa Rica. Courtesy of the  TOPS program, a community of tour operators committed to supporting sustainable tourism in their respective markets, it doesn’t get much better than that. The grand prize winner will be selected by renowned wildlife photographer Art Wolfe. The trip includes eco-tours to the Arenal Volcano, the Monteverde cloud forest, and Manuel Antonio National Park.

There are six category winners in total, each of whom will receive a Polaroid high-definition pocket digital video camcorder. All of the six winners, along with the grand prize winner, will also receive a one-year honorary membership at the $100 level to the Rainforest Alliance.  All winners will also receive an honorary one-year membership at the $100-level to the Rainforest Alliance.

The six categories include

  • Iconic Destinations: famous travel destinations around the world
  • Forests: boreal, tropical or temperate forests
  • Water: rivers, streams, waterfalls, beaches, wetlands or coral reefs
  • Wildlife: insects, birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles or fish
  • Adventure tourism: images that depict people engaged in adventure tourism activities
  • People and Culture: images that celebrate a destination’s culture and communities

The submissions will be judged based on three criteria: (1) the visual appeal and composition of the photograph, (2) the use of the portrayal of the Rainforest Alliance’s mission, and (3) originality and creativity of the photograph. The staff from the Rainforest Alliance will then select five finalists in each category, post them on the website, and ask folks to get involved and vote on their favorites in each of the categories. Art Wolfe will select the grand prize-winning photo from the group of finalists.

The photographs need to be submitted to by June 30th, 2013. The winners will be contacted through email on or before July 31st, 2013.

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