Lake Baikal is the symbol of nature’s purity and beauty. It is the source of pride for many Russians. Commercial brands often use the lake in their communications and branding, but few people know that Baikal’s pollution is becoming worse with each year. So far, there is only one NGO called “My Baikal” that works on abating this problem.
We noticed that dump heaps around Baikal are like a full-blown supermarket. One can find anything here: from diapers to batteries, from plastic bags to canned goods. Everything that we order online can be found on the shores of Lake Baikal.
We created an online store with garbage found on the shores of Lake Baikal. By shopping there, you help to remove the trash and transport it to recycling facilities. Now, making a donation is as easy as ordering food online.
The store’s prices were calculated by environmental experts depending on the harm that comes from manufacturing the products, the length and specifics of their decay, the cost of logistics and recycling. For example, a common battery that costs 1 dollar can create 150 dollars worth of damage to nature.
To launch the campaign on social media, we sent the garbage to influencers in specially designed packaging made of used cardboard. The influencers got an opportunity to do an unusual unpacking video, and the NGO reached a new audience.
We also used the local digital marketplaces to sell garbage in order to collect more donations and reach as many users as possible. Additionally, we uploaded the photos of trash to Shutterstock. All proceeds are donated to the NGO.
The opening of the first online store with garbage from Lake Baikal proved to be such an interesting news hook that hundreds of media outlets reported about it with zero advertising and PR investment on our part. People shared the project on social media where we reached millions of users. We managed to both collect the donations for the clean-up of Lake Baikal and to raise the public’s awareness of the problem of littering and the importance of sorting your trash.