For the past few days, the #TeamTrees challenge has been a trendy topic on YouTube and you’ve probably watched many related videos. In case you’ve missed it, #TeamTrees, described as the “largest YouTube collaboration ever”, is a fundraising challenge aiming to plant 20 million trees by 2020. Although the fundraising challenge seems to get traction only recently, it was started back in May by Jimmy Donaldson (MrBeast) and Mark Rober, two very well known YouTubers. With so much media—and meme— coverage, many might wonder if the challenge is worth the hype.
For starters, #TeamTrees is an indication that increasingly more people care about the earth’s environmental degradation and are willing to take action. As of publishing this article, 11,353,897 dollars—corresponding to the same amount of trees—were donated. Individuals, as well as corporations, contributed to this movement in an effort to inverse deforestation. Aside from holding environmentally destructive companies accountable, the #TeamTrees initiative is a very practical way to advocate for the planet.
In terms of logistics, the collected donations will go to the Arbor Day Foundation, a reputable tree-planting organization with more than 40 years of experience. Since 1972, Arbor Day Foundation has planted and distributed 250 million trees, and has developed the expertise to efficiently raise them. They also work closely with the U.S. Forest Service and other professional forestry partners. Hence, the #TeamTrees initiative will effectively plant trees with the help of professionals.
That being said, should you take part in the #TeamTrees challenge? Absolutely! You can donate as low as one dollar to plant a tree. Of course, you can also plant trees in your own backyard, if climate conditions permit.
Written by Kelly Jean, Class of 2021