#TeamTrees – How the Internet is Trying to Plant 20 Million Trees by 2020

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With global warming, deforestation, and other events such as forest fires at the forefront of media attention (particularly in 2019), it seems that humanity might be losing the fight to save the planet before the Point Of No Return.

The #TeamTrees concept was first launched by YouTubers MrBeast and Mark Rober, after fans of MrBeast suggested the concept as a celebration for reaching 20 million subscribers on the platform. From October 25th, their goal was to plant 20 milliontrees in a way which will maximise the survival of the planted greenery by January 1st 2020. This gave the project approximately 68 days to meet this goal – a monumental feat, I’m sure you’ll agree.

But they couldn’t do it alone; partnering with the Arbor Day Foundation, the largest non-profit tree-planting organisation in the world, both MrBeast and Mark Rober (who previously worked at NASA) began thinking about how to plant them. While planting 20 million trees might at first seem to be a one-and-done solution, they are thinking long-term, with all of the species of trees chosen for planting being the most suitable picks for the location and most beneficial to the area (e.g. non-invasive tree species). Likewise, the trees need to be planted 8 feet apart from one another, giving each the appropriate room to grow and not compete for space.

A $1 (USD) donation on the website equates to 1 tree planted. There are donations ranging from $1 to $1 million, including from people such as Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, Elon Musk, and a donation of over $100,000 from the Discovery Channel. Fellow YouTubers also got involved with the project, with each channel involved promoting #TeamTrees in their own creative way. The Try Guys created a PSA music video, while Because Science looked at the more long-term effects of planting so many trees and the benefits to the planet. But it’s not just large names donating – with the associated Twitter promoting the donations from high schools and momentous efforts from individuals.

Personally, I think this is a really cool idea! #TeamTrees is a  world-wide collaboration to help reduce the impact of global warming in any way we can, which shows that people do care, in contrast to what some reports might make you believe.

The most amazing piece of news? The #TeamTrees project is likely to reach its goal. On December 3rd TeamTrees reached a total of 17 million trees-worth of donations, meaning they were 85% of the way to their end goal with less than a month to go.

And with Christmas soon arriving, donations to the #TeamTrees project is a great way to give back while giving something interesting as a gift. Each present I will give out this year to friends and family will also include a donation to the fundraiser. For people hoping to become more environmentally friendly in their gift-giving, this is a fantastic place to begin.

People are able to donate either through the teamtrees.org website or via YouTube’s fundraiser donation – with the latter matching donations (allowing your $1 donation to potentially plant two trees!)

 

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A second-year Archaeology and History student. Besides writing for Wessex Scene and The Edge I can be found at the archery range, or just curled up somewhere with a book.

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