Teaching kids to be green: Arbopals launches

At this brand-new Toronto-based kids’ virtual world, all activities are tree-based. With young users’ help, Arbopals plans on “being able to plant millions of trees internationally in the coming months and years.” As kids aged 5-10 play, “tree-plantings are funded in 21 countries, the site’s launch release says. “And in recognition of the recent earthquake in Haiti, users can go on a special virtual world ‘quest’ that, when successfully completed, will result in trees being planted in that devastated country,” where Arbopals is hoping to plant some 10,000 trees in partnership with Washington, D.C.-area-based Trees for the Future, which has planted some 50 million trees worldwide. “The brainchild of Peter O’Brien, Arbopals has its roots in his experience in the re-forestation movement and in his daughter’s passion for online games.” The site says beta-testers love its games, some of whom have played one of them, “ArboLaunch,” for as long as 2 hours at a time. The site also includes the ultimate tree-centric encyclopedia, the “Arbopedia,” and a customized Google global tree-planting map. [Disclosure: I’m biased; I serve on the Arbopals advisory board because I think it’s brilliant to tap into kids’ natural inclination to do good and be green.]

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