The project started with Google employees. They cleaned up local beaches, parks, and trails in California and tracked their progress using My Maps. Now it’s a much bigger effort. They have partnered with community action organizations in fifteen countries to encourage the same thing on a bigger scale. I envision the same thing again in April for Earth Day. No word if it will be an annual event.
Here are some of their partners in the United States, Keep America Beautiful, Idealist.org, the Sierra Club, Americorps, and the Student Conservation Alliance. Americorps ought to use Google Maps to show all the nonprofits who use the program and tell success stories.
Part of the aim of the project is to show how local cleanup efforts can collectively foster community awareness of the environment at large.
Get involved! Google is using Google Maps to coordinate and document the project. To participate, create and submit maps of the areas you’d like to clean up. Instructions on how to get started are here: http://maps.google.com/help/maps/cleanup.
So far more than 100 cleanup maps have been created. This is be an great way to get some PR with Google’s name by getting your employees to participate. Provide the tools and serve breakfast. And since the idea is to encourage awareness (and because I’m a marketer), don’t forget to write a press release about it.