“We want to call attention around the world to the importance of the planet in a non-wonky, non-preachy way,” says Geof Rochester, the conservancy's CMO. “We can go about it in no easier, simpler way than to have a picnic.”
Rochester says that conservation groups have a tendency to issue “dour” warnings of doom about the planet: The Earth Day picnic is an attempt to recast the message.
The work on the campaign, including a micro-site on the organization's website about Earth Day festivities, is being handled in-house. Picnics are planned in more than 400 different locations, 41 countries and on all seven continents. Picnickers throughout the world are organizing their groups through meetup.com.
The organization has partnered with a number of companies that will publicize the Earth Day festivity on their sites. Among them are AOL.com, allrecipes.com, Taste of Home, Birds & Bloom, Fresh Home and Chipotle Mexican Grill. It will also be using various social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter. In addition, well-known chefs, such as Alice Waters and Mario Batali, have contributed recipes, available on the site.
Post-Earth Day, Rochester says that the organization will decide after an evaluation whether to make the picnic an annual event.
The Nature Conservancy, which began in the US, has some 1 million members in 30 countries and is 60 years old.