A couple of months ago, two popular YouTubers — MrBeast and Mark Rober — decided to start a campaign that aims to reforest the US. They wanted to collect a total of $20 million through their fundraiser and donate it all to Arbor Day Foundation. Arbor Day has been actively planting trees for a while by following the same pattern — for every $1 they receive, they plant one tree.
Even though they were eager to take action against deforestation, MrBeast and Mark Rober did not expect that so many people and organisations would join the cause. Apart from many rich individuals who directly donated money, numerous businesses and organisations also supported the campaign by creating their own fundraisers and donating money to #teamtrees.
How It All Started
The initial idea for the campaign was conceived by MrBeast’s fan on Reddit. He suggested planting 20 million trees to celebrate 20 million subscribers to MrBeast’s YouTube channel. Being up for a challenge, just like many YouTube superstars, Jimmy Donaldson (MrBeast’s real name) immediately considered the idea and was ready to start the campaign.
The idea caught on quickly, not only on YouTube but also on many other social media platforms — mainly Reddit and Twitter. The reason why people were interested in this type of fundraising is indirectly connected to the wildfires that took place in the Amazon forest and the negative consequences they caused.
Once Mark Rober, a popular YouTube star and engineer/inventor, saw MrBeast’s campaign, he decided to partner up with him, and the two of them launched an official fundraiser. MrBeast made a YouTube explainer video, discussing the whole idea behind the campaign and inviting people to join. The video was uploaded on October 26, 2019. At the very beginning, many other Youtubers decided to join.
Some of the YouTube stars that immediately supported the cause were the gamer superstar PewDiePie, Rhett & Link, Marques Brownlee, Ninja, Marshmello, and others.
Executives and Businesses Join
Some businesses supported or are still supporting the fundraiser in their own fashion. For example, Bitcasino.io helped to plant trees with Team Trees Campaign successfully by using their loyalty programme. The company donated more than $100,000 to the cause and is currently #9 on the list of people or companies with the biggest donation.
The person who donated the most money is Tobias Lütke, the CEO of Shopify. He pledged a total of $1,000,001 with the comment “For the Lorax”. His comment was a response to Elon Musk’s comment “For Treebeard”. Musk donated $1 million and is one dollar shy of being #1.
Apart from the two entrepreneurs donating a million each, other wealthy individuals also donated a lot of money. Marc Benioff, the co-CEO of Salesforce, donated $900,000, and the CEO of YouTube, Susan Wojcicki, made a $200,000 donation. One of the most interesting donations was made by the game Plants vs. Zombies — it pledged half a million for the cause.
Campaign Was a Success!
The goal was to collect $20 million by the end of 2019. It’s safe to conclude that the campaign was successful since a total of $20.5 million was raised by December 24. Arbor Day Foundation promised to start the tree-planting procedure in January 2020 and stated it would be completed “no later than December 2020”.
This great campaign will definitely help the US battle global deforestation that is already taking its toll on the country. Other countries ought to take notes and start similar fundraisers in the future to save the planet from the devastating consequences of deforestation.