Image from UNEP/Clean Up the World
Wouldn't it be neat if you could see what people around the world were doing to commemorate the annual Clean Up the World Weekend while you were out picking up trash on the beach or taking part in one of myriad other nationwide clean up activities? If you said yes, then I have just the online tool for you: Clean Up the World's and UNEP's nifty Google Maps-powered (who else?) global environmental map.
As per its name, the tool helps track protection and clean up activities across the world, allowing you to take a peek at the inner workings of the groups involved and the wide array of activities they are helping to organize -- helpfully categorized by type of activity (i.e. waste pickup, tree planting, education/outreach, etc). I took a whirlwind tour through the website and found out that while groups like San Diego Coastkeeper were putting together beach clean up activities all along California's coast, a number of groups in Australia and South Africa were organizing tree planting events. And that was just after a few minutes of poking around the site.
Given that organizations in over 115 countries participated in 2007's Clean Up the World event, it's obvious that the website still has a lot of room for growth. Though I wasn't able to find quite as many local events as I would have liked -- especially the type of education and community awareness activities I typically like to become involved with (the CUW website has much more information) -- the tool provided a nice snapshot of some of the impressive work being done around the world.
It'll be interesting to see how much more traction the tool gets by the time CUW 2009 rolls around. Since it was just unveiled this past week, it's not too surprising that it still fairly bare bones. One way UNEP and CUW could make the tool more useful is by encouraging groups to make use of it year-round, thus allowing interested users to track their favorite organizations' eco-events and outreach activities year-round.
Via ::Environment News Service: Clean Up The World Maps Activities Online (news website)