Pure Earth Day: Hundreds Mobilized for Pokemon Go Pollution Cleanups and more

During Earth Week, Pure Earth mobilized hundreds of people around the world for a series of pollution cleanup events and a special news-making photo exhibition and presentation. These events were all part of Pure Earth Day, our inaugural global effort to bring people and partners together to mark Earth Day and raise awareness about pollution and pollution solutions.

Pokemon Go Cleanups in 3 Countries

With the help of Niantic Labs, the people behind the worldwide gaming phenomenon Pokemon Go, hundreds of players and other concerned citizens turned up to participate in nine Pure Earth events, including cleanups in Mexico, Philippines, and Senegal 

Along the way, participants in each location got to learn a little more about how pollution affects their local communities, what pollution solutions are available, and how they can help to solve pollution in their backyards.

Pure Earth Day Pokemon Go cleanup participants in the Philippines

Mexico

About 350 people signed up to participate in two cleanups, which began with an opening ceremony following native tradition, asking permission of the 7 directions (north, south, east, west, up, down and inside).

The Pure Earth event in Mexico opened with a traditional ceremony.

Participants removed about 4 tons of garbage from a river in Los Remedios national park in Mexico City; planted 46 Canna Indica plants, a native species that can filter water; and made seed bombs which they playfully called “reforestation pokeballs.”

The Pure Earth team plans to keep the momentum going. They intend to purchase an anaerobic reactor and other materials to continue water treatments and to care for the filtering plants.

Some of the Pure Earth Day participants in Mexico.

Removing garbage from the river in Los Remedios national park.

Philippines

About 400 people–including HSBC volunteers, local community members, local government officials, and Pokemon Go players–took part in a four-day event in Muntinlupa City and Quezon City, which featured three river cleanups and three ecobrick-making workshops.

Participants removed over 7 tons of garbage, and learned how to turn plastic garbage into building materials to reduce waste sent to landfills.

Participants received certificates after attending the ecobrick-making workshop.

Ecobricks: plastic bottles are filled with garbage, which can then be used as insulation and to add strength to building materials.

 Senegal

About 150 people–including community leaders such as Ndeye Fatou Diouf, the first deputy mayor, municipal councilors, and district delegates of Hann Marinas–turned up to help Pure Earth clean up Baie de Hann beach in Dakar.

The beach contains one of the largest fishing piers and fish markets in Senegal. Decaying waste from fish processing has been contaminating the water and fishing dock area. Residents complain of health problems from the pollution, which also threatens the local fishing economy.

Together, the group removed putrefactive algae from over 8 km of the beach near the fishing dock, and 7 tons of non-biodegradable solid waste, such as plastic bags, and other biodegradable waste.

The Pure Earth Day event was organized in collaboration with the Siggil Hann Association, the Citizen Consciousness Movement and the One Health Club of the National School of Sanitary and Social Development, along with the local NGO Light.

Pure Earth Day in Tajikistan Makes the News

In Tajikistan, Pure Earth put the focus on pollution and made the news.

Local news outlets Vecherka, ASIA Plus, Oila, Radio Sadoi Dushanbe, TV Vatan, TV Shabakai Yakum, and TV Jakhonnamo all came to learn more about the global problem of toxic pollution and how Tajikistan is being affected. The discussion brought the issue down to the community level by highlighting the most pressing local pollution problems along with a special photo exhibition showcasing successful solutions and cleanups that have taken place in the country.

The event, which was attended by the Deputy Head of the European Union delegation and Mr. Margus Solnson, the Head of Political, Press and Information Section, featured presentations from Petr Sharov, Pure Earth’s Regional Director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and Umidjon Ulugov, Pure Earth’s country director for Tajikistan.

A reporter at Pure Earth’s Earth Day event in Tajikistan.

The Pure Earth team and colleagues in Tajikistan.

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