For the second year in a row, Pokemon Go and Ingress players from around the world joined forces to help make our world a better, cleaner place.
✅176 NGO hosted events & 300 player hosted events in 41 countries
✅17,000 players volunteered 41,000 hours
✅145 tons of trash collected
— Niantic, Inc. (@NianticLabs) May 3, 2019
This weekend Niantic announced on their website’s blog that their Earth Day 2019 initiative far exceeded expectations and the company was “blown away” by the amount of people who answered their call to arms. Over 17,000 people came together and over approximately 40,000 hours were able to collect 145 tons of waste from the environment.
Niantic and their player base worked alongside 46 non-government organizations around the world to clear refuse and raise awareness about the impact of modern life on the environment. Like with other holidays and causes, Niantic hosted over 300 player events across 41 countries and six continents, harnessing the power of Pokemon for a greater good.
We’re astounded with how much everyone involved has achieved – an effort like this highlights how much impact people can have when they work together.
From April 13th through the 28th, Pokemon Go players were able to obtain special rewards, but only if enough people showed up to help clean the environment in the event area. The rules were as follows: If 2,000 players participate, more ground-type Pokémon would appear; if 5,000 players contribute their time, shiny Digletts would be made available within 48 hours of the goal being reached; finally, if 7,000 players unite, Groudon would appear in raids, and stardust and candy spawns would be doubled for events. It’s easy to see how the extreme popularity and appeal of Pokemon Go was used in the service of a higher goal.
On their blog post, Niantic took special care to mention the notable success of their partnership with the NGO Orden de Guadalupe A.C., where the organization and players teamed up to clear approximately 30 tons of waste in Mexico. According to Niantic, “Special cranes were brought in to collect and remove the garbage floating in the dam. In all, the cleanup event led to the collection of a massive amount of trash, filling four garbage trucks and one special container.”
Niantic also made special mention of Pure Earth, an organization in the Philippines they partnered with for their Earth Day endeavor. Niantic players and Pure Earth worked together “to collect trash and create ‘ecobricks’, or plastic bottles filled with garbage, during an educational workshop. These ecobricks are then used as insulation or reinforced with mud to build durable walls.” It’s great to see old trash put to a new purpose.
Niantic and the participating Ingress and Pokemon Go players, as well as all the participating organizations, should no doubt be feeling proud of the herculean tasks they were able to come together to compete this year. It’s amazing what positive things can come out of video game communities.