This project started as a conversation between myself, my sister and her friend. They had just come back from hiking one of the beautiful trails in Massachusetts, a little sun burned and bit to the hilt with bug bites. After helping them find the aloe and anti-itch cream, I realized I know a lot of people that forget or run out of sunblock or bug spray. This got me thinking. Why not put a sort of vending machine on the trails for just those occasions? What I ended up with is a company called Vending Tree.
Vending Tree is a vending machine that dispenses sunblock, bug spray, mini first aid kits, rain ponchos and foldable hats to trail go-ers in need, it also has free copies of the trail map. The machine itself will look like a tree and be made out of recycled plastics, ensuring that it is entirely water proof.
Located on several of Massachusetts’ best known trails, Vending Tree harnesses the sun’s energy as a power source through solar panels. This allows the machine to work on the trails without having to plug it into an outlet. The solar panels will help power the credit card reader, the dispensing mechanism, and power a small light bulb.
But Vending Tree is not only concerned about your hiking safety and the environment, Vending Tree is also invested in building a strong community. That’s why Vending Tree has local Boy Scout troops re-stock the machines, earning them a community service badge. More over, 90 perfect of the proceeds from each machine go back to the trail itself. So by using Vending Tree you are helping preserve the very trails you enjoy.
Vending Tree also has an app that you can download. This app will help you locate a Vending Tree machine on your trail, and guide you to that machine through your phone’s gap system. You can also see what kinds of products are in Vending Tree and make a suggestion for a new location.