The Nature Conservancy has found a way to tap into the optimism and “can-do” spirit of Earth Day, adding a technology twist and also getting away from the standard clean-up-the-park or river events.
It has organized a Picnic for the Planet, encouraging people to go outside on Friday and celebrate nature by enjoying a meal with friends, relatives, or neighbors—an appeal to those who like the smell of soil but not necessarily under their fingernails.
“It’s a little easier to digest,” says Amy Ganderson, manager of social media at the Nature Conservancy and spokeswoman for the event. “And everyone loves food.”
The conservancy is asking picnic-goers to share photos and videos from the events on social networks using the tag #picnic11.
The organization has set up a page on the Web site Meetup to allow people to organize a picnic or find one nearby. The site has recorded over 1,000 plans to attend picnics in different parts of the world.
Ms. Ganderson said the conservancy didn’t dictate to local organizers how to handle the event, thus letting people tailor the picnics for their own communities. In addition, she says, Picnic for the Planet tries to blend online and offline approaches that are important in crafting social-media campaigns that stick.
“It’s not something that just stays online. People are actually getting together and meeting their friends.”