Caring for the planet is vital, not just because we call it home today, but because we’ll be handing down what we leave behind to friends and families for generations to come.
Earth Day is an opportunity to remind everyone to keep the world healthy and clean. When communities come together in Earth Day activities they get a chance to discover the underlying beauty of that neglected park down the block or the polluted waterway under the overpass. It helps build awareness around these fragile ecosystems worldwide that need our help and protection, just like it did for these girls. Furthermore, we know that the Pacific garbage patch is now 1.6 million square kilometers in size and weighs 80,000 metric tons. These 1.8 trillion pieces of trash came from... us. Cleanups like these help keep trash out of the oceans and protect what my good friend and eco-idol Sylvia Earle describes as 'the lungs of the planet.'
This past weekend, Niantic in partnership with Playmob, Mission Blue, and several global non-government organizations around the world hosted the first ever Pokémon GO Earth Day Cleanup. More than 4,200 devoted Pokémon GO Trainers joined together at 68 events across 19 countries in the name of Earth Day. They helped clean up 4,300 kilograms, nearly five tons, of garbage and debris (and still counting!) from areas in dire need of revitalization. Simply put, it was an incredible day.
From Dengemarsh Beach in the United Kingdom and Cape Town, South Africa:
To Argentina in South America and Texas, USA in North America:
All the way to Yoyogi Park in Japan and Enoshima, Japan in Asia:
There are some people in this world who devote every day of the year to the Earth. Legendary ocean explorer and activist Dr. Sylvia Earle is one of them. I was honored to work with her and her network of like-minded scientists to create Google Oceans. I'm thrilled to be working with her again. I had a chance to catch up with her over the weekend at the EARTHxOcean conference in Dallas earlier this weekend to discuss innovative ways we can use technology to spread awareness and solve real issues happening around the world today!
Through her organization Mission Blue, Sylvia and her team have united a global coalition to support a network of marine protected areas worldwide and put a spotlight on them through documentaries, social media and more.
It’s with our heartfelt gratitude that we thank all of the Trainers who not only contributed to cleaning up these communities together and supported Mission Blue through more than $5,000 in donations but to Sylvia for leading the charge in changing how we view these ecosystems right in our own backyards. We are also immensely grateful to the local NGOs who hosted these massive cleanup events and continue to champion the importance of keeping waterways clean through their volunteer efforts.
We’re honored to announce that Niantic and The Pokémon Company will be collectively donating $250,000 to Sylvia’s organization, Mission Blue. This donation will be used by Mission Blue to launch a Hope Spot expedition to Palau in the Fall of 2018 to assess the long term viability of this island nation's unique approach to marine conservation and ecotourism. The funds will also scale up Mission Blue's outreach efforts by bringing on more storytellers to work with Hope Spot communities in communicating their unique story out to a global audience.
Make sure to follow our blog here at Nianticlabs.com if you’re looking for more ways to give back to your community. We’ll be announcing new partnerships, events and more right here throughout the spring and summer months.