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Free trees

The app that lets you plant a tree a day – without spending a penny
Katie Hill - Editor-in-Chief, My Green Pod
A Treepp tree-planting partner in Tanzania, smiling with spade and sapling

This article first appeared in our ‘Love is all we need’ issue of My Green Pod Magazine, published on February 2022. Click here to subscribe to our digital edition and get each issue delivered straight to your inbox

There’s now a way to plant a tree every day in less than a minute – completely free of charge.

With a mission to reforest our planet, Treeapp founders Jules Buker, Leo King Leong Ng and Godefroy Harito have set a target to put a million trees in the ground every day.

Since launching on Earth Day (22 April) 2020, the reforestation app has already seen over 750,000 trees planted in 12 countries.

‘Almost everyone is aware of climate change, though most individuals don’t know what they can do to fight it’, explains Jules. ‘We identified three main barriers to taking climate action: people lack time, money or knowledge around how to make an impact.’

The trio, who met while studying at London Business School, created Treeapp as a solution; it offers a free, mobile and easy way to make an environmental, social and economic impact directly from your phone.

Empowering action

Around the world, approximately 69 football fields of forest are cut down every minute. In 2019 alone, roughly 260,000 square km of forest were torn down – an area roughly the size of the UK.

‘We need to act now as deforestation levels are worsening and hitting their highest levels’, Leo explains.

The enormity of the challenge we face means we must all feel empowered to act; inclusivity must therefore be a key feature of any proposed solution to the climate crisis.

How it works

Treeapp is a mobile app that enables anyone in the UK and Ireland to plant a tree free of charge, every day, in less than a minute.

Regardless of income, gender, race or other differences, users can plant trees all over the world, and make a change that benefits the planet on a daily basis.

When you have downloaded Treeapp, you simply choose where you’d like your tree to be planted and then watch a one-minute ad from one of Treeapp’s sustainable brand partners.

In exchange, this brand will fund the planting of a tree – and you will get to learn about sustainable products and services you may never have heard of.

The advertised products are available to buy through Treeapp’s online marketplace and there is an option to plant additional trees on a monthly basis, but there’s no pressure to part with any cash at all.

Instead, you can simply use the app to help reforest the planet and track your shrinking carbon footprint as it is offset.

Trees where they’re needed

Each user’s first tree is planted in Madagascar, which has ‘a special place’ in the founders’ hearts.

‘Over the course of the last 150 years Madagascar has lost over 80% of its forests through brutal slash-and-burn practices for agriculture, selective logging for precious wood and, in some cases, forest clearing for mining’, Godefroy explains. ‘Our tree-planting partners hire local citizens to plant hundreds of trees on the island every day, which stimulates the local economy. Our focus here is to ensure diverse local tree species are planted, animal species are rehabilitated and jobs are created.’

Beyond Madagascar, Treeapp’s planting sites span 12 countries in Africa, Asia and South America. Trees are planted in the areas that need them, and that have been most affected by the impacts of deforestation.

‘We plant mangroves along the coast in Indonesia to prevent the risk of flooding’, Jules tells us. ‘In Nepal, we plant fruit trees with women-led groups in order to promote gender equality in rural societies and in Brazil, our seeds are gathered by a group of Indigenous people, the Geraizerios.’

Protected planting

Only a few projects are listed on Treeapp, as each one must meet specific and strict criteria regarding transparency and operations.

‘We work only with projects where the forest’s health is continually monitored and the planting lands are protected in perpetuity’, Leo explains. ‘It is our plan to continue in this direction for ever.’

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