This Earth Day, Take the Planet Out to Lunch

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The Nature Conservancy to Host First “Picnic for the Planet”

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Picnic for the Planet is a celebration of the planet we live on, the food it provides and the people we share it with.

On and around April 22—Earth Day 2011—thousands of people around the world will step outside and head to their favorite outdoor spot to enjoy good food in the company of great people.

“Picnic for the Planet is a celebration of the planet we live on, the food it provides and the people we share it with,” explained Andrew Simpson, The Nature Conservancy’s creative director. “The planet does a lot for us— we should take it out for lunch.”

For The Nature Conservancy, Picnic for the Planet will break new ground. “Strategically, this is a new approach for us,” explained Geof Rochester, The Nature Conservancy’s chief marketing officer. “We’re trying to open up, meet people where they are and explore new ways of illustrating the positive impact a healthy environment makes on all our lives.”

Picnic partners include Chipotle Mexican Grill, Back to Nature Foods, Aol and meetup.com. The integrated marketing effort includes in-restaurant activation, digital and social media and events at 70 college campuses across the United States. More than a dozen of the country’s top chefs (including one actual Top Chef contestant, Carla Hall) contributed their favorite picnic recipes to the cause. Alice Waters and Mario Batali also contributed posts on the importance of eating sustainably to the Cool Green Science blog.

Picnic for the Planet will be a global celebration, with events scheduled on nearly every continent. Through its online hub, the Conservancy will be mapping picnic locations and gathering photos and video from as many picnics as possible. Those interested in sharing images, videos and stories from their picnics are encouraged to use the tag “#picnic11” on Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and/or YouTube. Highlights will be featured on the Conservancy’s website, nature.org.

“One of the most important elements of Picnic for the Planet is the sharing of the experience across social networks,” said Simpson. “Participants will not just have a local, personal experience at their own picnic, but they’ll also be able explore their connection to people across the planet.”

Interested in attending a picnic? There are more than 400 Picnic for the Planet events currently in the works:

  •     In Seattle, the Conservancy is holding an event in partnership with the famous Pike Place Market
  •     Events are scheduled to be held in dozens of cities around the world, including Bucharest, Dublin and ar-Ribat
  •     Picnics will be held at Conservancy offices in Tanzania and Zambia

Hosting a picnic is as simple as identifying a location and inviting family and friends to attend. Hosts can plot their picnics at meetup.com/natureconservancy, and add maps and widgets to their own Facebook pages, blogs or websites to promote their events.

To learn more about Picnic for the Planet, please visit nature.org/earthday.

The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the web at http://www.nature.org.

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Nicole Levins
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