Team Trees is a huge fundraiser put together by YouTubers Mr. Beast and Mark Rober, aiming to plant 20 million trees by 2020.
These two influencers teamed up with the Arbor Day Foundation and countless content creators to start raising money. It began after Mr. Beast’s fans challenged the pair. The fundraiser has already garnered over $14 million with each dollar resulting in the planting of one tree. Recently, entrepreneur Elon Musk donated $1 million to the foundation.
The climate crisis is a primary topic of focus in the media right now. Climate change, especially with the Amazon rainforest burning, is at an all-time high, making this is a huge issue on today’s agenda. When Mr. Beast and Mark Rober were asked about their thoughts on the project there was a relative consensus on it. “If we can use the internet as a tool to get the money, to do that, [planting more trees] is only going to make the climate situation better ultimately.” Professor Jonathan Twining, who teaches environmental science at ENC, states, “regardless if the media puts it out there, it real, and there are people donating.” Mark Lima, founder of the Students for Environmental Awareness Club, says, “even if the media covers it or not, it’s still something that’s grassroots that people care about.”
After the fundraiser ends, the Arbor Day Foundation will begin planting the trees raised in January 2020 and will be finished by no later than December 2022. The Team Trees website states that “The goal is to plant trees on every continent not named Antarctica!” They will also be focusing on planting trees native to the area of forest that they plant them in. “Once we’ve disturbed the earth, to allow the earth to replenish itself,” Professor Twining states. The environmental enthusiast says he lives by the words, “we should leave the earth better than we found it.”
Team Trees has not announced what they will be doing when 2020 hits. As far as the public knows, when the new year comes around, the fundraiser will end, and we will not hear anything more from them. When asked his opinion on next steps, Lima answered that “If people knew that environmental issues exist, then the principle is that they will feel that conviction in their heart to do something about it. The most important thing for a next step is making sure people know what’s going on.”