A new campaign on YouTube has been spreading like wildfire and has caught the attention of famous entrepreneurs: all with the purpose of planting trees.
#TeamTrees, a campaign with the purpose of planting 20 million trees run by YouTuber Mr. Beast and the Arbor Day Foundation, has been gaining traction online for the past few weeks.
The campaign started in May of 2019 when Jimmy Donaldson, known on YouTube as Mr. Beast, was challenged by his YouTube subscribers to plant 20 million trees in celebration of hitting 20 million subscribers.
With the help of Mark Rober, a fellow YouTuber focused on science and “do it yourself” creations, Donaldson launched the campaign on Oct. 25, 2019.
Each dollar donated is equivalent to one tree being planted. The trees will be planted on public forest lands managed by government agencies, at areas where trees are needed the most.
On the week of Oct. 25, many popular YouTubers promoted the campaign on YouTube and other social media platforms.
Donaldson’s video currently has 32 million views, with the first 1,600 trees already planted.
To date, the campaign has planted 14,500,000 trees and top contributors donated thousands of dollars, from people like Elon Musk; Tobi Lutke, the founder of Shopify; Marc Benioff, the owner of TIME magazine and Susan Wojcicki, the CEO of YouTube.
Donaldson went forward with the campaign due to many forest fires and deforestation happening in the past few months.
News outlets such as National Geographic and Reuters posted articles about fires occurring around the world, from California to Lebanon.
“We only have one earth and it’s important that we take care of it,” Donaldson said in his video. “Recently, lots of not-so great things have been happening to forests and people just keep making fun of our generation for retweeting activism and not actually doing something.”
Florida Tech’s Student Organization for Sustainability Action said they are happy to see a campaign like this making waves online.
“It is amazing to see what influencers such as Mr. Beast can accomplish on such a large scale,” said Allyson McCarron, vice president of SOSA. “If #TeamTrees were to happen on campus, we would have to collaborate with Facilities to choose the right trees and places to put them on campus.”
Florida Tech has been recognized as a Tree Campus USA certified campus by the Arbor Day Foundation for over eight years.
Florida Tech is one of 377 schools recognized, and one of the 15 schools in Florida.
According to the Arbor Day Foundation, being a Tree Campus USA campus shows dedication to helping the university’s environment and engaging with the student community.
According to McCarron, every year around Arbor Day, Facilities plants trees in celebration of Florida Tech being a certified Tree Campus.
At the previous Arbor Day event in January, trees were planted near the president’s office with the help of SOSA, Residence Life, Florida Tech Grounds and the Indian Harbor Beach Garden Club.
According to the TeamTrees website, the trees will be planted from January 2020 to no later than December 2022.
Donations can be made at teamtrees.org, Donaldson’s YouTube channel, TeamTrees Facebook fundraiser or #TeamTrees Tiltify fundraiser and will be sent directly to the Arbor Day Foundation to fund tree planting.
“It’s awesome that people of such prominence are actually using their platforms to promote positive environmental change,” said Taylor Greene, president of SOSA. “People in entertainment have become increasingly vocal about issues that matter to them, and that opens the eyes of their fans who may have never had an interest or known about said issue. It’s a beautiful domino effect.”