<Editor's Pick> This app wants to use your "conscience" to make money

Jul 14, 2021

Traveling by Bus accumulates 80g of energy, and traveling by subway accumulates 52g of energy. In China, most of the energy-saving and emission reduction activities participated by individuals are in Ant Forest, which is a scheme launched on Alipay mobile client. Its mechanism is "reward-based", but even so, Ant Forest played a bigger role in increasing "social fun".

Recently, a series of similar products have emerged, and in contrast to Ant Forest, their mechanism is "punitive". Each of your daily actions will be accounted for as corresponding carbon emissions. When you are ashamed of your carbon footprint, you can eliminate it by "paying a fine". It seems to be a "utopia", but some products have gotten funding one after another in the past two years.

While the idea is novel, questions also arise. Are they currently more of a 'public service project' to educate users, or can they be a sustainable business model? More than just an entertainment game, how do they really solve environmental issues?