Descendant of iconic Revelstokian invents tree planting alarm clock

Adam Sorensen is the great grandson of Soren Sorensen, who built trails in the Revelstoke area

Ever thought nothing good can happen when your alarm goes off in the morning? Well, there’s now an app that will plant a tree if you wake up on time.

“Everyone wakes up to an alarm. This is a way to empower people,” said Adam Sorensen, one of the creators of EcoWake.

Adam is the great grandson of Soren Sorensen, a Danish immigrant who moved to Revelstoke in the 1950s. Soren worked for Parks Canada, making rustic signs. He became a driving force in the development of cross-country skiing in the community. One of the trails in Mount Revelstoke National Park bears his name.

Soren Sorensen is an iconic Revelstokian. He largely developed cross country skiing in Revelstoe. (Photo credit from Revelstoke Museum & Archives, Knud Sorenson Collection)

Adam said planting trees is one of the most effective ways to combat climate change.

“I want there to be a world for my children.”

How the app works is every time the user wakes up on time, they earn virtual seeds that turn into real trees planted by global organizations, such as Eden Reforestation Projects. Eden Reforestation Projects is a non-profit whose mission according to their website is to provide fair wages to impoverished villagers.

“We hire the poorest of the poor to grow, plant, and guard to maturity native species forest on a massive scale,” states the website. They plant trees in Nepal, Madagascar, Haiti, Indonesia, Mozambique and Kenya.

EcoWake offers two types of memberships: one is free and the other is $5 per month. The free version plants one tree per month and the paid subscription will plant up to to 10 trees per month.

Founders Adam Sorensen and Jesse Teron. (Submitted)

The idea for the alarm came from Jesse Teron, the other owner, while he was on a 10 day silence retreat near Merritt, B.C. At the retreat, there was no talking, writing, reading, exercise or eye contact. Just meditating, eating, sleeping and the occasional stroll. By day eight, while on a walk, Teron said he had a revelation.

“One tree in particular caught my attention and in that moment, I became one with the tree. And in that, I realized that humans are one with the entire planet, we are not separate. And if that planet isn’t healthy, then we aren’t healthy. That’s when I knew I had to do something.”

At the retreat, people would wake up to a gong. Later while meditating, Teron had an image of a tree beside a gong.

“And that’s when it hit me. Unite people by having them wake up for the planet.”

According to the World Bank, in the past 25 years alone, the world’s forests have shrunk 1.3 million square km, which is larger than South Africa.

Yet, there are more trees on earth than stars in the Milky Way.

EcoWake was launched earlier this month. To turn off the alarm, user must answer a question, such as “What are you grateful for today?” There’s also no snooze button.

“It’s designed to get you moving,” said Adam.

So far, the company said there have been over 1,400 downloads since the launch and almost 3,000 trees have been planted.

The company has a goal of planting 1 billion trees by 2030.

“We are starting to change the narrative. This is how we can change the world,” Adam said.

Adam and Teron live in Vancouver.


 

@pointypeak701
liam.harrap@revelstokereview.com

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