Have a big test to study for? Barraged by alerts competing for your attention? There is an app to help which also benefits the environment. Forest is at its core a screen time restriction app that keeps you from mindlessly picking up your phone out of habit to break your concentration. Go to the garden, pan around the world, and choose which kind of plant you want to digitally grow by staying off your phone. Flowers, trees, fruits, and shrubs all native to the country that you pan to are all options, and each plant initially has an amount of time that you must stay off your phone in order for the plan to survive and grow. Stray from the app, and the plant dies (with the remains of the app staying in your virtual garden space for quite some time). The more you stay off your phone, the more plants you can grow and add to your virtual garden. While aesthetically pleasing, there is also an activist outlet for this app. Users accumulate credits by growing their virtual forest, and they can choose to donate those credits towards a real tree. Forest partnered with the nonprofit Trees for the Future to plant real trees with those virtual credits, and so far, Forest has contributed to planting close to 900,000 trees and other shrubberies. Trees for Future appears to be a firmly established reforestation nonprofit, with 187 million trees planted worldwide, focusing on communities and areas that have suffered large scale ecosystem and economic harm from reforestation. They do not always use native trees, as some deforested areas cannot be fully restored to support native species, but the goal is creating a healthy and functional ecosystem that the community can own and use, and Forest appears to be part of that effort.


Aesthetic/Leisure, Climate Change, Internet of Things, Lifestyle, Psychology