What started out in June of 2019 as a special in-app feature in GCash, the country’s leading mobile wallet, is now a widespread campaign to help save the environment.
GCash Forest, which allows users to plant virtual trees with real life counterparts, has made it easier and more convenient for its users to plant trees through their mobile phones. Now, GCash Forest users, known as Green Heroes, may collect their Green Energy (GE) in App, which are used to plant the virtual trees, within three days instead of the previous 24 hours. This also allows users to collect from your friends if they have not yet.
The amount of GE necessary refers to how much carbon emissions the specific tree species can absorb after a year of growth. Likewise, GCash Forest now includes new tree species to provide a diverse set of trees in the Ipo Watershed within the Angat Watershed Forest Reserve in Norzagaray, Bulacan.
“Despite a year of massive success for GCash Forest, we still want to make sure user experience remains topnotch to maintain or increase momentum when it comes to the number of trees planted. At the end of the day, our goal is to encourage more people to take part in this campaign to save our environment,” GCash President and CEO Martha Sazon said.
By improving the features of the in-app gamified tree planting activity, GCash aims to encourage all of its 20 million GCash users to take part in saving the environment through GCash Forest.
In the new normal where digital transactions are swiftly becoming the norm, GCash Forest is sure to play a critical role in propelling the movement to save planet Earth, while users can still observe standard public health protocols like social distancing. Even at the comfort of our homes, we can continue to care for the environment in our own ways.
“These changes will make it easier for our users to plant more trees despite the limits of our current situation. We believe that through GCash Forest, we will be able to make a difference in the environment as we as in our country’s biodiversity” Sazon said.
This June officially marks the beginning of tree planting as it also signals the start of the rainy season in the Philippines. GCash partner World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) will start planting again this month, after successfully planting 4,200 trees by the end of last year.
GCash Forest’s goal is to plant 365,000 virtual trees that turn to actual trees. Even with multiple partners, this remains to be an ambitious endeavor, but is highly doable through collective effort.
In the Philippines, forest cover is quickly deteriorating at a rate of 52,000 trees per day. GCash Forest is only one of many initiatives to save the country’s natural resources.
“Ultimately, these campaigns can only reach their goal if each and every Filipino does their part in minimizing their carbon footprint and avoiding practices which harm the environment. We believe that GCash Forest will not only benefit this current generation, but also the generations to come,” Sazon said.