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Starting June 3, Helsinki residents can earn money by removing invasive plant species such as lupines and Himalayan balsam through a new mobile game called Crowdsorsa. This initiative aims to protect the city's biodiversity by crowd-sourcing efforts to tackle these harmful plants.

The Crowdsorsa mobile game, available for download on smartphones, invites everyone to participate in this environmental mission.

Participants can earn up to 25 cents per square meter of invasive plants removed.

"Himalayan balsam and lupines are among the most harmful invasive plants in Helsinki, threatening our urban biodiversity. Mechanical removal is challenging in many areas, so every helping hand is needed in this battle. We hope the mobile game and financial rewards will make the task more enjoyable and rewarding," said Armi Koskela, the volunteer coordinator for the city's environmental sector.

Capture, Remove, and Earn

Participants can either find their own invasive plant sites or work on pre-identified locations marked on the game’s map. They must record videos of the sites before and after removal and upload them to Crowdsorsa for verification. Once approved, players can transfer their earnings from the virtual wallet to their bank accounts.

The game calculates rewards based on the area, density, and type of invasive species removed. The campaign will continue as long as the reward budget lasts, with progress trackable through the app. To ensure thorough removal, the latter part of the task will focus on re-treating previously cleared areas.

Crowdsorsa, a startup from Tampere, has implemented this concept in Finland, Sweden, Estonia, and the UK. The mobile game is designed to crowdsource data collection and micro-tasks from residents. Previously in Helsinki, the app was used to map the condition of bike paths.

This innovative approach not only engages the community in environmental conservation but also provides a fun and rewarding way for residents to contribute to the city’s ecological health.

HT

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