The #TeamTrees movement was started after YouTuber Jimmy Donaldson, or MrBeast, was challenged to plant 20 million trees after hitting 20 million subscribers. Though this started as just a Reddit meme, MrBeast took it to heart, pairing with former NASA employee and fellow YouTuber Mark Rober. The two worked together, and paired up with the Arbor Day Foundation with the goal of planting 20 million trees in a year.
On October 25, MrBeast posted the viral video revealing his “Biggest Project Ever!” In the video, he gets a head start on the project, calling all available Oregonians to his location to spend the day planting trees. With the pledge of planting a tree per dollar raised, he includes a link to a website designated for donations. The goal of the fundraising is to raise $20 million dollars before the new year. Remarkably, within less than a week of posting the video, $8 million were raised, including a $1 million donation from Elon Musk. Even more remarkably, At the time of writing the article, #TeamTrees has raised over half of the monetary goal a full two months before the deadline.
“This has been fantastic, just to know this community of young people cares. They are really stepping up to make a donation.”
– Woody Nelson, president of Marketing Communications of the Arbor Day Foundation
The revolutionary aspect of this project is not just the amount of money that has been acquired in such a short amount of time, it’s the awareness that is reaching millions across the globe. MrBeast has a young demographic watching and subscribing to his channel. The importance of this is that he is serving as an inspiration and role model for kids at such an influential age. Other YouTubers and influencers such as Jeffree Star, Marshmello, Ninja, Loserfruit, jacksepticeye, etc. have donated tens of thousands of dollars to the cause, spreading even more awareness to their viewers. Seán McLoughlin, or jacksepticeye, even did a livestream on his channel raising $153,000 for the cause.
How will the trees actually impact the earth?
Trees provide for many creatures, including us. They provide oxygen, shade, and produce to humans. For other species, they provide shelter, food, and protection among other things. They are an important part of the earth, and they are slowly being taken away in many places such as the Amazon. Deforestation and industry are threatening ecosystems everywhere. According to the World Bank, “we have lost 1.3 million square kilometers of forest since 1990 – an area larger than South Africa.” This loss also continues the perilous deterioration of the ozone layer, a protective layer of the earth’s atmosphere. Will planting 20 million trees fix this? No, this will not restore the earth to its original condition, however, it will definitely help.