The Young People's Anti-litter Campaign led by Lewis-based Ecologisers has a new twist to its 2017 competition.

In previous years, contestants were invited to submit a humorously captioned photograph of themselves with a piece of litter. In 2016, this initiative was supported by 20 local businesses who donated generous prizes to the young winners.

Litter Goes Literary is the title of this year's online international competition. As well as the humorously captioned photograph, this year's entrants are asked to compose a verse of eco-lyrics to fit the tune of their favourite song.

To get an idea of what's possible, a two-minute promotional video (clips pictured)  is available via YouTube, vimeo and Ecologisers website: - https://vimeo.com/233979354.

The Litter Goes Literary development is of interest to educators as it fulfils the Curriculum for Excellence requirements. Organisers Ann and Peter have already given two video-conferences on Litter Goes Literary to both last year's and this year's student-teachers at Lews Castle College.

Peter said: 'Litter is considered the pariah of the environmental movement.  We put together a programme for the student-teachers that ensured they found the potential for enjoying engaging with such a seemingly turn-off subject.  It was great to see them laughing as they sang the eco-lyrics they'd just invented to Auld Lang Syne.  Donald Trump put in more than one appearance!'

Although this competition is now international and open to anyone under 21 years of age in full time education, prizes for local winners will be awarded as in previous years. For the outright winners, there will be money prizes. The Litter Goes Literary competition is free to enter online, with a deadline of December 1st.

Additionally, by visiting Ecologisers new website, http://www.ecologisers.com would-be contestants can find helpful hints on both writing humorous musically-themed captions and composing eco-lyrics to existing tunes. For the more serious student of what is possible with eco-lyrics, Green Teacher has published an article available at http://greenteacher.com/green-teacher-105-winter-issue/ Password wsbxp 

Ann said: 'Our flagship school for our Young People's Anti-litter Campaign is the Sir E. Scott School. They've shown the two-minute video at their school assembly.  It features Daniel MacAlpine, who is in Primary 2 at Stornoway Primary litter-picking to background music of three very well-known Christmas carols with a verse of eco-lyrics sung to each carol. It's had a lot of likes on social media.' Ann has written three ebooks detailing the process of writing eco-lyrics to 15 famous Christmas carols.

Asked why they chose music as the way forward with their Anti-litter Campaign, Ann said: 'There's a history of music inspiring people – it really is an international language because it speaks to the heart.  In 2018, we hope to give a video-conference to 80 student-teachers covering the whole of the north of Scotland, on the Global Citizenship themed week of their course.

"After three years of work, and everything self-funded, we are just delighted to have found an innovative and attractive way to present children with what our generation, unfortunately, is bequeathing them.'