Forest Can Cut Your Phone Dependence

Tuesday, October 9, 2018 - 16:04

Published by Shaokan Pi, a Chinese app maker, Forest can help you temporarily put down your phone and focus on what is more important in real life.

Forest app could help users stay focused through growing a virtual forest by not fiddling with their phones during designated times they set, and thus earn virtual currency to purchase real trees.

However, if you cannot resist the temptation of using your phone and leave the app, your tree will wither. The sense of achievement and responsibility will encourage you to stay away from your phone, and will help you make better use of your time. Stop getting distracted by your phone, make you self-motivated and get more things done.

John Leary, the organization’s executive director, spoke to Quartz about the collaboration with Forest and the people who are planting the trees in Africa through his program. Forest first came out in China in 2014 and proved popular. Two years later, ahead of release in the US and elsewhere, the app maker sought an international partner that could efficiently and sustainably plant many trees, showing users real-life results to inspire and motivate them.

The extra earnings that come from diversification also have a profound social impact on farming families and their communities. Jean Baptiste Nitcheu, a farmer in Bakassa, Cameroon, explains, “I have four kids, with the money I gain, I send them to school.”

In 2018, Trees for the Future will graduate 3,200 families. Leary hopes they will contribute to better long-term nutrition, stronger economies and communities, and environmental improvement.

The project also influences migration. Young people who don’t want to be peanut farmers earning peanuts in Senegal, say, leave home and go to Europe. When growers plant a variety of trees, however, and start earning up to 500% more than before, they are inspired to stay and improve their communities, Leary says.

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