December 2021 – January 2022 | News

Turning footsteps into forests

Turning footsteps into forests

The Treekly apps aim is to encourage participants to get outdoors and exercise as a result trees will be planted. So why not walk 5,000 steps a week to save the Madagascar forest?

Developers of an exciting new environmental app have been receiving plenty of traction among Rotarians.

The Treekly app encourages participants to get outdoors and exercise with the goal of planting a tree.


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Free to download, the app automatically counts steps on a Fitbit, smartphone, or Apple watch and displays each tree in a personalised digital forest.

The aim is to walk 5,000 steps, five days a week, to plant a mangrove tree in Madagascar.

App developers Jon Bunning and Keith Mortimer, both Rotarians from Norwich, spoke to district governors across Great Britain and Ireland in November.

“The potential to build a partnership with Rotary is very exciting,” explained Jon.

“Amid all the scaremongering of climate change, we wanted to give people an opportunity to do something.

For those less active, but still wanting to play their part, a 12-month Tree Pack is available at a discounted rate.”

“Any anxiety you might have about the future is lessened if you feel you are able to do something.

“So this is why we came up with the app, to encourage communities like Rotary to create a sustainable exercise habit, which makes them feel better and where they are turning their footsteps into forests.”

Treekly is an established partner of Eden Reforestation Projects, which have planted over 700 million trees since 2005 across eight countries. Eden focuses on rebuilding natural landscapes destroyed by deforestation and lifting impoverished communities out of extreme poverty.

Treekly has primarily targeted planting mangrove trees in northern Madagascar. However, they will also be supporting other mangrove sites managed by Eden, including Mozambique and Kenya.

The app includes a Rotary Community League where Rotarians represent their club in healthy competition, based on their average daily steps and total trees tally.

Participants each receive an initial 60 trees to offset the average UK adult carbon emissions for three months. There is an option to use the app for free or upgrade to Treekly Plus which plants a tree every day when they achieve 5,000 steps.

For those less active, but still wanting to play their part, a 12-month Tree Pack is available at a discounted rate.

Already, Edgware and Stanmore Rotary in North London has taken on the challenge and formed their own Treekly group by walking 5,000 steps daily”

Jon Bunning explained that Treekly was keen to team up with Rotary since the project aligned neatly with its seventh area of focus. They had set an initial target of planting two million trees by the end of 2022, across the Rotary GB&I community, before reaching out to Rotary International.

David Ellis, Chair of the Rotary GB&I Executive, heard Jon and Keith speak at the Rotary in London District conference in Eastbourne in October, and he is keen to promote the initiative, spearheaded by Tony Sharma, Past District Governor of District 1130 (Rotary in London).

Already, Edgware and Stanmore Rotary in North London has taken on the challenge and formed their own Treekly group by walking 5,000 steps daily.

Club member, Peter Bradley, reckons he has planted more than 100 trees. “I joined in August, and our group has already planted more than 250 trees,” he said.

“I have always had an interest in the environment and, to me, I am really pleased to be doing my bit to reduce my carbon footprint with the Treekly app.”

visit the Treekly website

or scan this QR code below to plant your first tree for free:

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