Grow a virtual plant and Hanwha will plant a real one

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Grow a virtual plant and Hanwha will plant a real one

A screen capture of Hanwha Group's Solar Forest mobile app. [SCREEN CAPTURE]

A screen capture of Hanwha Group's Solar Forest mobile app. [SCREEN CAPTURE]

As part of its annual tree-planting project, Hanwha Group has launched a new mobile app that allows users to grow virtual plants and then "donate" them back to the company, who will actually plant them next year.
Over the past nine years, the conglomerate has planted trees across China, Mongolia and Korea under the name “The Hanwha Solar Forest” as part of an initiative to reverse deforestation. Seven forests have been created so far with more than 500,000 trees planted across 1.33 million square meters (329 acres) of land.
Now in the campaign's 10th year, Hanwha’s original plan was to plant a forest in Seoul or Gyeonggi, only to be stopped by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Instead, Hanwha will plant the forest next year. For now, the company came up with a mobile alternative to keep the project going, at least virtually.
Available on Google Play and Apple's App Store, mobile app “Solar Forest” is a game where users can grow their own plants in a virtual garden. Once the garden contains nine plants, the user can press a "donate" button, adding those nine plants to the total number Hanwha will plant next year.
Like in real life, users can encourage their virtual plants to grow by exposing their smartphones to light. A light sensor inside the smartphone will recognize the light and charge a virtual solar panel inside the game which powers electricity for plant cultivation.
This is the same method that Hanwha uses to actually grow plants for its forests: in the early stage of cultivation, the trees are grown indoors, requiring electricity for sprinklers and temperature control. As an alternative to fossil fuel, Hanwha uses solar panels to generate power when growing trees for its forests.
This approach to cultivation was recognized as an exemplary model of sustainability at the United Nations’ High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development in 2018.

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