Pokémon GO-es green for Earth Day

Niantic, maker of the popular app, challenges its players to use their seeking skills to make the world a little cleaner
pokemon cleanup Can you catch Pikachu AND pick up trash at the same time? Niantic thinks you can, and it's ready to reward those who do. (Wachiwit | Dreamstime.com)

Sunday, April 22 is coming and that means one thing: Earth Day is around the corner. With it being a Sunday this year, we're excited about all of the time that we can spend on our favourite enviro-projects. And app developer Niantic feels the same way.

You see, Niantic is the company behind a little thingy called Pokémon GO!, a game that took over the world in the summer of 2016. The game was so popular that even kids and adults who thought a Pikachu was some kind of mini-sneeze were out there trying to find Bulbasaurs in their backyards. And even though that fever has died down somewhat, we know that Pokémon is still majorly popular with a lot of you.

Now Niantic hopes that the world can tap into this excitement one more time for the Pokémon GO! Earth Day Cleanup. How does it work? We were curious, too...

Worldwide events

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Imagine all of these people picking up trash at the same time? Now you're talking! (Getty Embed)

Basically, Pokémon GO! already gets people outside looking for things. But then the designers thought: What if people helped to pick up trash as they looked for Vulpix and Poliwags? Good idea!

A website lists a series of worldwide events where players can come together to clean up entire areas. The more trash that they pick up, the more in-game rewards that the entire group will receive! Like what? How's this...

  • If 1,500 players clean up trash: Unlock 2x Stardust when catching ground-, water-, and grass-type Pokémon
  • If 3,000 players clean up trash: Unlock 3x Stardust when catching ground-, water-, and grass-type Pokémon

The number of events are increasing all the time—presently, there are 40 events around the word, and the organizers are looking for suggestions from players as to where to host others. To help guide the cleanups, Niantic is partnering with Mission Blue, a non-profit environmental organization dedicated to protecting the oceans. Other local non-profits are also helping to sponsor individual events.

Embed from Getty Images

Sounds like fun, right? After all, how often do you get to combine gaming, getting outside, and helping the planet? Now get out there and catch that trash!

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