Niantic, the developer of Pokemon Go, has just announced that it will dish out rewards on Earth Day 2018 all in an effort to encourage its 20 million active users to get out and clean up their communities.
Attend a local event, and you could net yourself two or three times the amount of stardust for Earth, Water and Grass-type Pokemon.
To make this happen, Niantic has partnered up with Playmob and local NGOs all over the world to help mobilize local communities of Pokemon Go players.
In the US, that list of Earth Day events includes clean-up days in California, North Carolina and Hawaii, while players in the UK can head to Brighton to clean up the local beach shore. You can find a complete list of Earth Day events here.
The caliber of the rewards will be determined by the amount of trainers that attend the event - if 1,500 local players are at an event together, they'll earn double Stardust drops, while if 3,000 players get together to pick up trash, triple Stardust drops will appear on the aforementioned Pokemon types.
Hopefully this doesn’t end in another lawsuit…
While it’d be easy to draw some parallels to Niantic’s infamous Pokemon Go Fest held in Chicago last year that disappointed thousands of fans when the flood of players took down servers, we’ll instead chalk this event up to Niantic’s ability to do good for communities and their citizens, like getting kids and teens outside and exercising more often.
According to Pokemon Go’s website, Niantic was inspired by Mission Blue, an organization founded by marine biologist Sylvia Earle that aims to establish protected areas of the ocean - some of which has been made into an eponymous documentary on Netflix.
Sure, it's a bit crazy that we need incentive from Pokemon Go to get out and clean up our communities, but it's a good idea nonetheless.
If you don’t see an event listed in your area - and the flight to Hawaii just feels like a bit too far to go to catch some Pokemon - you can suggest local NGOs who’d be open to supporting events in your area on the Pokemon Go website.