Environment

How you can grow your own forest and capture its beauty and awe in virtual reality

See how helping the environment can be captured 'like a photo' to remind you of your positive actions

Most of us are wise to the fact that deforestation has severe consequences on the global environment and replanting trees can help offset the damage being done.

However, finding the space, time and knowledge on how to do so doesn’t seem too easy.  

Yet the awesome folk over at MyForest are doing the hard work for us, encouraging the public to get involved by pledging to plant trees while they organise logistics.

Not only this, but users also get access to a virtual reality where they can see their online forests flourish which mirror the real-life efforts that are taking place in the environment.

Speaking exclusively to Uspire, founder Mike Edwards revealed the inspiration behind his venture and how he wants to encourage people to see the magic of helping the planet.

Mike explained: “MyForest wants to make helping the environment and the planet fun, rewarding, sharable and memorable.

“Using the platform, people can plant trees, carbon offset, donate to charities, learn about environmental issues and send green gifts to friends and family.”

He added: “When you join, you start your own unique virtual forest which tells your environmental story, and your forest represents the actions you have taken.

“By clicking on different parts of your forest, you can find out why that part was added and share it on social media to encourage others to make a change or support a cause.

“MyForest is also a place to learn about different environmental issues, and discover the organisations working to tackle these problems and the positive impact that they have.”

To get started, there are three different packages on offer: woodland, forest and rainforest.

Woodland is a starter-pack that invites people to get involved for £6 a month, this entitles the user to plant 10 trees and offset 500kg of carbon each month.

Forest allows people to start creating their own virtual expanses of nature, while planting 13 trees and offsetting 1.00t of carbon each month all for just £11.

Rainforest, the top tier package, entices people to make a huge positive impact by planting 17 trees and offsetting 1.50t each for a cool £17.

While MyForest’s main objective is to restore nature to what mankind has taken away from it, they also want to connect people and show kids that environmental issues don’t have to be dull.

Mike continued: “We want to bring all the environmental actions people are taking online, offline, with friends and family, and bring them together in an inspiring and engaging place.

“We want each virtual forest to be a reminder of the positive impact each person has had, for example, supporting a campaign to save dolphins in the Mediterranean Sea, donating to planting trees in Nepal, or having a donation made on their behalf for their birthday.

“Much like a photo is a reminder of a past event, MyForest is a reminder of your positive actions.”

He added: “Our ultimate goal is to tackle climate change from all sides and to help amazing organisations who, in addition to protecting the climate and environment, support the communities who are most vulnerable to these changes.”

So far, the response has been great. With people relishing in the artwork that shows off their individual virtual forest and illustrates the tangible actions that they have taken.

Having kickstarted the initiative back in January, when the world looked very different, Mike and fellow co-founder Laura later set up an office in their back bedroom (which made their cat very happy) when the first national lockdown came into force.

Undeterred by the global pandemic, they have gone from strength to strength, expanding their team by hiring two other team members who work remotely.

Chatting about their growth, Mike said: “This is just the beginning, and we have loads of ideas that we want to develop to allow people to see all their environmental contributions.

“We want to encourage people to take small steps to a more sustainable lifestyle and help everyone realise that even the smallest changes can have a big impact when we work together.

“We also want to reward people for their offline activities, like litter picking or volunteering, and hope to work with corporate partners to reward users for green purchases.”

Both Mike and Laura felt passionate about the environment from a very young age and were determined to do something more to help fight the climate crisis.

Now, the dream team are doing just that, inspiring others to make positive changes too.

Mike concluded: “We want people to feel proud of the contributions they have made and show that lots of small actions lead to a massive impact.

“We want to empower people to make changes by showing them that they can take control and make a difference themselves and encourage others to do the same.

“We also want people to feel that they have played a part in helping the planet and taking positive steps towards a cleaner, healthier, fairer future.”

To get involved, click here: MyForest

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