Monday, April 18, 2011

Earth Day Celebrations in Times Square to “Re-Green the World”

For readers in the United States “text TREE to 85944” to plant trees in environmentally damaged areas of the world from April 21st through April 23rd.

On Earth Day, Friday April 22, the Green World Campaign, in partnership with Earth Day New York, will launch an initiative to “Re-Green the World.” Earth Day New York will dedicate a full hour of its live programming and public service time on its Times Square partner screens to the Green World Campaign cell phone initiative, inviting people to “text TREE” to fund global tree-planting. This work supports the United Nations Year of Forests 2011.

For the past 21 years, Earth Day New York has produced the largest Earth Day events in the City including their 40th Anniversary celebrations in Times Square and Grand Central in 2010. This year's events in the same venues will run from April 21st through April 23rd. “The Green World Campaign's initiative is one of our most exciting activities in celebration of Earth Day 2011,” said Pamela Lippe, Executive Director of Earth Day New York. “We hope to engage a broad segment of the public and show that even a small contribution can really make a difference.”

Spectators will experience the Green World Campaign's dazzling motion graphics of vivid leaves and branches swirling across the giant Times Square screens operated by Toshiba, NASDAQ, Reuters, MTV, CBS and CNN, turning the urban environment into a virtual forest at regular intervals. By way of the same “text2give” technology successfully used by the Red Cross for Haitian relief, people in Times Square and around the country will be invited to “text TREE to 85944” to plant trees in environmentally damaged areas of the world. A one-time donation of $5 will be debited from their cell phone bill to fund the planting of five trees on degraded land from Kenya to Mexico. This will help restore the ecology and economy of some of the world‟s poorest places (and take a bite out of CO2-driven climate change).

Between 12pm and 1pm, the cumulative number of trees being funded via “text TREE” donations will be periodically displayed in real-time on the Toshiba screens. Public service announcements will begin on partnering screens as early as 6am. Earth Day New York will further promote the Green World Campaign with a dedicated focus on their tree planting efforts between 12 noon and 1pm at Duffy Square (Broadway bet. 46th and 47th).

Donations received by throughout Earth Day celebrations will be used to plant trees in nations such as Kenya, which is currently reduced to a tragic 2% forest cover.Planting new trees has both environmental and social benefits including soil revitalization, increased biodiversity, reduction of atmospheric CO2, and economic self-sufficiency for struggling communities.

The Earth Day New York event kicks off a year-long “text TREES" initiative by the Green World Campaign that aims to double the organization‟s tally of nearly one million trees in 6 countries. Says Green World Campaign founder Marc Barasch: “This is more than another 'awareness campaign,' but a novel use of new media to make tangible change and, as our slogan says, Re-Green the World.”

Green World Campaign-produced screen content includes a PSA designed and donated by leading ad agency David & Goliath (L.A., Frankfurt, London) and Stockholm-based FilmTecknarna. Production was funded by a grant from the U.K.-based CBD Charitable Trust. Technical coordination of this complex project will be overseen by Tal Yarden, a leading New York video designer and multimedia programmer. Project partners include EarthWays Foundation, CauseCast, the One Spirit Learning Alliance, Culture Shock Marketing, the Streaming Museum, Iva Kaufmann & Associates, and Imagination, Inc.

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