Would an eco-friendly incentive encourage you to stay off your phone?

By Morgan Noll

Our phones are the constant temptation that we carry in our pockets or leave sitting on our desks. Giving into the blue light on your phone to check notifications is all too easy to do, and for the most part, there's usually no incentive to keep us off of our phones. Small personal rewards can be great for staying productive, but a smartphone app called Forest goes far beyond. When you meet your productivity goals on this app, Mother Nature also wins.

Image courtesy of Forest App.

Here's how it works: Set a timer for the amount of time you plan to commit to doing your work. Keep the app open and watch as a virtual tree grows on your screen. Every time you navigate out of the app (to check that text notification or scroll through social media) the tree will start to wither and die.

If you continue to reach your productivity goals, you can build an entire forest on the app, which can go beyond your phone screen. Forest partners with Trees for the Future, an organization that plants trees and works with communities living below the poverty line to provide means for growing food for their families and sustaining an economy. Users of Forest earn virtual coins that they can spend on planting real trees, thanks to the help of Trees for the Future.

Whether you’re trying to stay off your phone at work or you want to be more present during time with family or friends, the Forest app can be the friend that holds you accountable. Be present, stay productive, and you'll do the environment a favor.

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