#teamtrees: the internet's attempt to save our planet

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Mr Beast, aka Jimmy Donaldson, launched the long-awaited project his fans had been bombarding him on Twitter about: planting 20 million trees.   

Partnering with the ex-NASA engineer turned YouTuber, Mark Rober, Mr Beast and his crew planted around 2,000 trees in a field in Oregon, in the United States.  

After that, they announced the insane project they had been working on for several months: partnering with the Arbor Day Foundation to get 20 million trees planted. Launching perhaps the biggest YouTube crossover project ever, they called on their fans to act and donate on teamtrees.org. 

In Mr Beast’s video, he explained: “For every dollar [0.78£] you donate here on YouTube or at teamtrees.org, a tree will be planted. And the Arbor Day Foundation are really good at what they do, these trees will have an extremely high rate of survivability.” 

The trees will be planted by 2020, but the $20 million fundraiser will end at the end in 2019. 

The #teamtrees initiative mirrors other great tree planting campaigns, as Ethiopia’s 350 million trees planted in a day, or the search engine Ecosia, that gives 80% of its proceeds to reforestation non-profit organisations. 

Planting a large number of trees is not going to be enough to stop climate change, but it will have a noticeable impact and is a step in the right direction. Reducing our carbon emissions is going to be equally important in the years to come.  

In his video, Mr Beast calls out his fans to help, “People just keep making fun of our generation for retweet activism and not actually doing something. 

“This is your chance to make a difference. 

“This is our chance to show the world we care.”  

The project has received scores of support messages from YouTube influencers, and large donations from various celebrities. Among these are the CEO of Tesla, Elon Musk, who donated $1million. Tobias Lütke, the CEO of Shopify, beat Musk’s donation by one dollar and currently heads the leaderboard for most trees planted. Some other honorable mentions are Jack Dorsey’s (CEO of Twitter) $150,000, or Susan Wojcicki’s (CEO of YouTube) $200,000. YouTube has also promised to match $1,000,000 donated to the project by its website and will be covering transaction fees for donations made on YouTube. 

And what is RGU doing about this? RGU Go Green has included the initiative in its newsletter. RAG has already planned out its events for the semester but will be happy to assist in any fundraising or advertising efforts.  

So far, more than $16'000 has been donated, meaning #teamtrees are over 80% towards their goal. Considering this progression, there is little doubt that the 20 million objective will be met, but will the project keep going and fix a new goal?

That remains to be seen, however, one thing is clear: every donation will help. Give to #teamtrees! 

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