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As the world sheltered at home to protect their health due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Earth began to exhibit undeniable positive effects from the reduction in human movement. The water in Venice, ran clear and the sky above Los Angeles was devoid of the thick smoke that normally hangs in the air.
As everyone hurried to get back to “normal”, green tech company ecoATM asked the question: “do we really want to go back to the “normal” way we treated the planet?”. This question formed the basis of Manifest’s brief which aimed to build a campaign to encourage America to take better care of the environment once the shelter-at-home rules had lifted.
First, we had to understand the true impact that the shelter-at-home rules were having on the Earth. Sure the sky was clearer and you could see the fish, but how much good, if any, had this stint at home done after years of humans destroying the world?
We enlisted the help of Christoph Meinrenken, research scientist at the Earth Institute at Columbia University, and it turns out, not much. According to Meinrenken and other scientists who have studied the impact of the pandemic on the Earth, while the months we had indoors were good for the environment, they only provided temporary relief that will become nothing more than a blip in time as soon as we go back to normal. Therefore, we needed to build a campaign that didn’t rely on temporary relief and instead was about building long-term, sustainable change. We need to making sustainability habitual.
We then explored the process of building habits and discovered that it takes 66 days for a new habit to be formed – 66 days for something to become second-nature. That settled it for us, we had 66 days to grow America’s green fingers. And 66 Days And Counting was born.
The aim of 66 Days And Counting was to arm the country with tips and tricks that they could do every single day that would be small in time and effort but when combined, would have a mighty impact on the world. Covering gardening, food, sustainable fashion and recycling, we created 66 days of content to fuel the ecoATM social channels, empowering people to follow along. To keep them on track with their journey, we created an interactive calendar so they could tick off each day they were involved; giving them a healthy dose of feel-good factor to keeping them going.
We recruited a stellar team of influencers who shared our mission to provide their own tips. This included carbon footprint reducing tips from Christina Bailey; how to plant pollinator-friendly plants from Kamea Chayne and how to repurpose kitchen jars from Rachel Mansfield.
Halfway through the campaign, we turned it up a notch even further. Partnering with climate-positive company, Ecologi, ecoATM committed to planting 10 trees for every cell phone traded in at one of its automated kiosks. This bold promise aimed to encourage people not to through unused cell phones in the trash, but instead trade them into ecoATM where they would be re-sold and live a second lease of life.
66 Days And Counting encouraged people from right across the country to assess their daily actions and look at ways they could make small changes each day, resulting in a more mindful approach to caring for the planet.