Innovation That Matters

The card connects easily with Apple, Google, and Samsung Pay | Photo source Treecard

A debit card made of wood lets you plant trees as you spend

Financial Services

Every $50 spent on the card provides enough funds to plant a tree

Spotted: Every year, the world loses a net total of nearly six million hectares of forest. Not only does this represent a vast loss in animal habitats, it also constitutes a significant contribution to global warming. UK fintech startup Treecard is hoping to combat this and help consumers make a positive difference to the environment with every sale.

The startup’s wooden debit card is powered by Mastercard and works just like a typical plastic debit or credit card, except that it is fully recyclable. The cards are made from cherry tree wood sustainably sourced in the UK and recycled plastic bottles, and are designed to work exactly the same as plastic versions, including at ATMs and in various other transactions.

Every $50 spent via the card allows Treecard’s tree-planting partner Ecosia to plant another tree. Treecard’s goal is to help reforest the world’s degraded lands by planting one billion trees. Ecosia is a tree-planting search engine that helps Treecard make use of the card transaction fees the company collects. These fees then support the work of local environmental organisations in more than 35 countries.

The cards are contactless and work with all digital wallets, making it easy for consumers to make the switch. As well as no monthly fees, Treecard guarantees that no funding will ever go towards fossil fuels or deforestation.

Treecard has recently raised $23 million (about €21.8 million) of series A funding and though it’s currently only available in the US during its Beta programme, the card is set to arrive in Europe next year.

Springwise has spotted several other innovations aiming to improve reforestation rates and incentivise individuals to help, including a tree planting platform on Microsoft Teams, and an app which allows users to subscribe to reforestation projects.

Written By: Keely Khoury



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