Elon Musk has pledged to donate $1 million towards the viral tree-planting mission started by MrBeast that's aiming to plant 20 million trees by 2020.
Tesla's CEO is the latest in a long line of internet celebrities to donate to the project. He promised to make the donation after being pulled into the conversation by famous YouTuber Marques "MKBHD" Brownlee:
Goes straight to the Arbor Day Foundation for planting a tree somewhere “in a forest of high need” around the globe https://t.co/1NTkHJ65md— Marques Brownlee (@MKBHD) 28 October 2019
What is #TeamTrees anyway?
Team Trees is essentially a charitable initiative started by YouTube celebrity Jimmy "MrBeast" Donaldson in collaboration with The Arbor Day Foundation. This is a fundraising campaign that's encouraging people to donate to help plant 20 million trees around the world by 2020.
The seed for this idea was actually planted way back in May, when MrBeast asked the internet what he should do to celebrate reaching 20 million subscribers on YouTube.
The enthusiastic Reddit community suggested he should plant the trees to save the planet:
Reddit really wants me to plant 20 million trees. pic.twitter.com/peGsq3eBjOMay 23, 2019
And thus Project TeamTrees was born.
MrBeast has said that he wanted to make TeamTrees "the largest YouTube collaboration of all time..." and to that end, he has got plenty of other big YouTube content creators involved. Everyone from Casey Niestat to Mark Rober has helped spread awareness of the mission and encouraged people to donate to help reach the goal. Even YouTube has promised to "match the next million" and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has donated $150,000 too.
How does #TeamTrees work?
This project is essentially supporting The Arbor Day Foundation, a body that claims to be the "biggest tree-planting organisation in the world" and one that's on a mission to help the planet by planting more trees worldwide.
Each one dollar donation is being used to plant one tree somewhere in the world. Those trees are mostly being planted in "high need" forests and will be the appropriate tree for the area.
The overall goal is to raise enough money to plant 20 million trees by the year 2020, though raising awareness of the Foundation is obviously an added bonus.
The actual planting of the trees will begin in January 2020 but planting 20 million trees will take a little longer, the hope is it will be completed before the end of 2022.
TeamTrees is also keen to stress it's doing things properly saying "we're working with the Arbor Day Foundation to ensure high survivability rates for all the trees planted as part of Team Trees. Sure, you could plant trees faster, but you'd be risking the integrity of this vision."
Will planting all those trees save the world?
It's unlikely that planting 20 million trees alone would be enough to save the planet. Mark Rober, former NASA engineer turned YouTuber, who is part of the project has acknowledged as much in one of his recent videos.
"It's important to note with regard to Team Trees that 20 million trees by 2020 isn't going to cure climate change, but it's a step in the right direction and a constructive, positive way to send a message that we see the science and we care."
If you want to get involved, you can donate at the official site here.