Leading snack nut brand Planters has kicked off its 2011 “Naturally Remarkable” campaign at a sustainability showcase hosted by Santa Monica, Calif.-based environmental organization Global Green by unveiling plans to turn unused land into natural, green spaces known as Planters Groves in four U.S. cities. The event was also the venue for the introduction of a biodiesel Planters Nutmobile, which will tour the country and appear at each Planters Grove event.
“We couldn’t imagine a better way to celebrate our ongoing sustainability efforts than with Global Green, one of the most respected environmental organizations,” noted Jason Levine, senior director of marketing for Planters, a brand of Northfield, Ill.-based Kraft Foods. “During this tour, wherever we go and whatever we do, Planters intent is to leave these communities more Naturally Remarkable than when we found them and to plant something forward for future generations to enjoy.”
Designed by landscape architect Ken Smith, Planters Groves will be peanut-shaped urban parks that will be open to the surrounding community. The innovative public spaces will employ locally reclaimed materials and native trees and plants from the legume family (the peanut is a legume). Each park design will incorporate the unique flavor of its city while featuring a statue of the iconic Mr. Peanut seated at a bench.
The Corps Network, a Washington-based organization that, as an advocate and representative of the nation's Service and Conservation Corps, enrolls more than 30,000 youths in community service, job training and education, and recruits 264,000 community volunteers across the country annually, will build the groves. The first public spaces will be in New Orleans, Washington, San Francisco and New York. The Corps Network’s local member corps will take responsibility for the upkeep, ongoing programming and seasonal planting of the groves, with input from community partners. The first Planters Grove is slated to open in New Orleans’ historic Central City neighborhood.
Meanwhile, out on the road, the new biodiesel Planters Nutmobile makes use environmentally conscious materials. Solar panels on the roof, a wind turbine and a biodiesel generator provide energy, while interior lighting comes from low-energy LED lights and the flooring consists of reclaimed wood.
As well as visiting all Planters Groves events, the vehicle will travel to another 12 cities to urge consumers to strengthen their communities by volunteering through The Corps Network.
Additionally, as part of the tour, Planters is joining forces with the NCAA’s “68 Courts in 68 Days” initiative during the 2011 NCAA Men’s Final Four to refurbish a Houston basketball court. Planters will unveil its 67th Court as part of the NCAA’s “Community Initiative Day” on March 31.
Consumers can follow the Naturally Remarkable tour, get exclusive updates and find out how to participate, by “Liking” Mr. Peanut on Facebook at www.facebook.com/mrpeanut.