Innovation Challenge Success

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The Tharakan Innovation Challenge Award was created to support NAIT’s Bachelor of Business Administration students. Students who participated in this challenge were tasked with finding an innovative new use for an existing product…..An empty toilet paper roll. A panel of judges would then select 3 teams who demonstrated the most creativity awards.


A fellow student/former project partner of mine suggested we throw our hat into the ring. After all, who knows how to market an innovative product like marketing students. We gathered our third group member and quickly got to work. So we began to ponder….

What would require the least amount of work to produce that people could do in their homes?

By folding in the corners and cutting a hole on the side of a toilet paper roll we created a biodegradable gardening pod. We had our product, next we needed a captivating story to provide statistics on why our idea would generate an impact.

We hit them hard with facts about toilet paper roll waste. For example, did you know that each year, over 17 billion rolls are thrown away into landfill?. This, in addition to the massive deforestation, water consumption, and energy usage required to make these rolls, has a significant impact on the levels of global waste.


 But rather than polluting the environment, could they be used to actually help nature? There are so many alternative uses for cardboard and toilet paper rolls, so why not put them to good use? Why not use these previously cut down trees to plant new trees? We took on the challenge to come up with something innovative and impactful for our environment, using empty cardboard rolls.

These little biodegradable pods can be used as planters for seedlings, which will eventually grow into thriving trees.

You get the idea. after filming and editing for hours the day before, our video didn’t save correctly and we had to produce a rushed job to get our submission in before the deadline. Sadly, I cannot upload our finalized video.

After a week of anticipation, they held a banquet dinner to announce the finalists.
Everyone got to view all the videos submitted and even though we weren’t the most original idea, we did portray a creative way to market our idea.

The final results…… Drum roll please………..

We won second place for our creativity and innovation of the empty toilet paper roll. We won a total of $750 divided up between the three of us. $250 is not bad for some fun extracurricular work.

Have you ever participated in an innovation challenge? Let me know what you think below.

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