- YouTube star MrBeast launched a campaign in October to raise money to plant 20 million trees in honour of reaching 20 million subscribers on the video-sharing platform.
- The #TeamTrees campaign surpassed its goal in under two months, and raised $US20 million (at a dollar a tree) with support from the Arbor Day Foundation and more than 600 influencers.
- Here are some of the biggest names in tech and YouTube who have donated to the cause, including Tesla CEO Elon Musk, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, PewDiePie, and Jeffree Star.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
The organising power of YouTube creators is on full display thanks to one YouTuber’s effort to plant 20 million trees by the end of the year.
YouTuber MrBeast launched the #TeamTrees campaign in October after fans bombarded him with memes suggesting he commemorate reaching 20 million YouTube subscribers by planting 20 million trees. At $US1 a tree, the cause’s goal was ultimately to raise $US20 million by January 1, 2020 to plant trees in partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation’s reforestation program.
However, it took the campaign less time than anticipated to complete its goal. The organisers behind #TeamTrees announced Thursday that the cause had already achieved its goal for the end of the year, raising money to plant 20 million trees in less than two months.
The initial debut of the #TeamTrees campaign gathered the support of more than 600 influencers, who flooded social media and YouTube with videos and posts to raise awareness about the tree-planting effort. It seems that the mass-bombardment has been successful however: #TeamTrees has drawn donations upwards of tens of thousands of dollars from some of the most popular YouTube stars, and more than $US1 million from two tech CEOs as well.
Here are all the big names in tech and YouTube that donated to the #TeamTrees campaign:
MrBeast is known on YouTube for his attention-grabbing stunts and thousands of dollars in donations. To kick off the #TeamTrees campaign, MrBeast (aka Jimmy Donaldson) donated $US100,000. A day later, he gave an additional $US100,002 to maintain the top-spot on the #TeamTrees’ donation leaderboard.
— Mark Rober (@MarkRober) October 26, 2019
NASA engineer-turned-YouTuber Mark Rober was part of the team behind the planning of the #TeamTrees movement, and contributed $US50,000 to the cause.
Source: Mark Rober on Twitter
Makeup artist Jeffree Star has been quite busy launching his newest makeup collection with fellow YouTuber Shane Dawson, but he donated $US50,000 to the cause.
This is fucking incredible! I just gave $50,000 to plant 50 thousand trees ???? Spread the word and help our planet ???????? https://t.co/X9118gn40R
— Jeffree Star (@JeffreeStar) October 26, 2019
Wildlife educator Coyote Peterson, the face of YouTube channel Brave Wilderness, recorded a video announcing the team’s $US1,000 donation to #TeamTrees.
— Brave Wilderness (@BraveWilderness) October 29, 2019
YouTuber Alan Becker shared an animation blaming one of his well-known stick figures for making him donate $US5,100.
— Alan Becker (@alanthebecker) October 29, 2019
Odd 1s Out, aka James Rallison, participated earlier this year in a real-life Battle Royale game held by MrBeast. He gave back the earnings he won to the #TeamTrees campaign.
— TheOdd1sOut (@theodd1sout) October 28, 2019
Another YouTube animator, Jaiden Animations, donated $US20,000 to #TeamTrees.
— MidouFilali (@midoufilali) October 29, 2019
Gamer-turned-memer PewDiePie got help earlier this year from MrBeast during his attempt to keep his spot as the most-subscribed-to YouTuber, so it makes sense PewDiePie would help with #TeamTrees. In true PewDiePie fashion, his choice of donation amount was comedic — at $US69,420 — as was the name he used.
Many of YouTube’s popular sect of gamers have also contributed to #TeamTrees. LazarBeam, who has nearly 12 million subscribers, gave $US10,000.
Wasnt able to get my video out today but doing my part. #teamtrees
Such a fucking awesome group effort. Good on ya @MrBeastYT pic.twitter.com/U3PsSWWb7F
— LAZAR (@Lazarbeam) October 25, 2019
Lachlan, a YouTuber known for his ‘Fortnite’ videos, donated $US15,000.
Had to do my part for #teamtrees
Love to support something well put together, and for a good cause. Well done @MrBeastYT & @MarkRober!
Highly encourage everyone to help us reach 20 Million trees by donating at https://t.co/UX3IVg8Gok
Remember 1$ = 1 ???? pic.twitter.com/PHO5QadZk7
— PWR Lachlan ⚡️ (@LachlanYT) October 26, 2019
Professional gamer Ninja, who recently moved his livestreaming over to Mixer, teamed up with his wife Jessica Blevins to contribute $US15,000.
— Arbor Day Foundation (@arborday) October 30, 2019
Arin Hanson — better known as Egoraptor — took time away from his web series “Game Grumps” to donate $US12,345.
— Arin Hanson, All Devouring (@egoraptor) October 31, 2019
Members of the British YouTuber gaming squad Sidemen also pledged money to the cause. Vikkstar123 gave $US10,000 and encouraged others to “show how powerful we are” by donating.
Let's show how powerful we are if we band together!
— Vikkstar ★ (@Vikkstar123) October 25, 2019
Another Sidemen member, Miniminter, contributed $US10,010. Notably missing from the list of donations is fellow Sidemen member KSI, who’s currently prepping for his upcoming boxing match against Logan Paul.
— Wedgeman Simon (@miniminter) October 29, 2019
Some gamers hosted livestreams to encourage fans to watch and raise more money for #TeamTrees. On top of a $US20,000 personal contribution, Jacksepticeye streamed to raise an additional $US153,000.
— Jacksepticeye (@Jacksepticeye) October 30, 2019
Thank you so much for the crazy stream! We ended up raising $153,000 for #TeamTrees Still a long way to go but every little helps! You guys are incredible and thanks for spending your Sunday with me ❤️
— Jacksepticeye (@Jacksepticeye) October 27, 2019
Roi Fabito, the name behind poplar YouTube channel Guava Juice, dolled out $US10,009, after helping MrBeast to plant a tree earlier.
RT if you breathe oxygen.
I planted a tree the other day and 10,009 more! Join @MrBeastYT, @MarkRober, and thousands of other creators as we save the earth! Donate $1 and a tree will be planted! #TeamTrees pic.twitter.com/BCxnfnr45P
— Guava Juice (@GuavaJuice) October 26, 2019
Canadian YouTuber AzzyLand didn’t publicly announce her donation, but a #TeamTrees contribution bearing her name shows the YouTuber contributing $US10,000.
— Arbor Day Foundation (@arborday) October 25, 2019
Internet celebrity MD Dr. Mike donated $US11,111 to “keep the world Happy & Healthy!”
More than 4 million already!!! pic.twitter.com/LgCxqU6uEA
— Dr. Mike Varshavski (@RealDoctorMike) October 27, 2019
YouTube magician Chris Ramsay also donated $US11,111.
Thanks to @MrBeastYT ‘s initiative and the constant support on my channel, I was able to Help plant 11,111 Trees!! ???? ❤️ ##TeamTrees You can do your part by donating to https://t.co/SM4rPu03DV pic.twitter.com/86ikXZevy7
— Chris Ramsay (@chrisramsay52) October 27, 2019
Cristine Rotenberg is the bonafide face of viral nail art as the person behind YouTube’s Simply Nailogical channel. She donated $US12,000 to the #TeamTrees campaign.
Trees > Gucci ????????
Thanks to all of you who watch my videos for making it possible for me to donate this many trees!
Join or share #teamtrees to help the internet raise $20 million dollars to plant 20 million trees by 2020????: https://t.co/mH0x7GoDxI pic.twitter.com/Wpr3C9Mczt
— Cristine with no ‘H’ ???? (@nailogical) October 26, 2019
Ethan Klein, one-half of comedy duo h3h3 Productions, announced a $US1,000 donation from “your favourite boomer,” a nod to how much older he is than the usual YouTuber.
But YouTubers weren’t the only group to get in on the donations. The #TeamTrees campaign reached the radar of tech executives too, and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey donated twice for a total of $US350,000.
Jack (CEO of twitter) just casually donated another 200,000 trees lol
— MrBeast (@MrBeast) October 31, 2019
Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff is known for his philanthropy toward environmental efforts, so it’s not surprising he gave $US900,000 to #TeamTrees.
Marc Benioff just planted 900,000 trees and brought us over 14 million!!!!!!!!!!!!! WE ARE SO CLOSE! pic.twitter.com/q0Lb4Sk8XJ
— MrBeast (@MrBeast) November 6, 2019
Patreon is a popular platform among creators and YouTubers to crowdfund money for projects and work. Its CEO, Jack Conte, shared a video on Twitter to announce his contribution of $US10,000.
Just planted 10,000 trees with #TeamTrees ???? Nothing better than seeing the creator community rally together around a kickass cause. We challenge all creators to join in & add some more beauty to the world at https://t.co/nx1qY9hEoY @MrBeastYT pic.twitter.com/QxNig0AHjK
— Patreon (@Patreon) October 31, 2019
Verizon’s division focused on sustainability efforts, called Green Team, donated $US100,000 to the environmentally friendly fundraiser.
????Tree-rific!????We are excited to support #TeamTrees with a contribution of 100,000 trees toward the 20 million tree goal. Our contribution represents 3 trees for every #Verizon Green Team member in 50 countries around the world. #WorkGreenLiveGreen @arborday @MrBeastYT @MarkRober pic.twitter.com/0Ivf5WgVnL
— VerizonGreen (@VerizonGreen) October 31, 2019
Tesla CEO Elon Musk took the top spot on the donation leaderboard after saying the cause seemed “legit,” and donated $US1 million. He went further by temporarily changing his Twitter display name to “Treelon” and his profile picture to a forest.
Ok, sounds legit, will donate 1M trees
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 29, 2019
But Musk’s lead didn’t last long. Shortly after, Shopify CEO Tobi Lutke donated just one more tree than Musk to take the top spot “on behalf of 1,000,000 Shopify merchants and my own defunct snowboarding store.”
Good idea. OK Boomers, on behalf of 1,000,000 Shopify merchants and my own defunct snowboarding store, I‘ll donate 1,000,001 trees. @MrBeastYT @elonmusk
— Tobi Lutke (@tobi) October 30, 2019
Shopify’s chief technology officer, Jean-Michel Lemieux, followed in his boss’ footsteps with a donation of his own, although he capped his contribution at $US100,000.
OK friends, remember "we are groot" ????. @tobi started a great initiative today. I'll donate one tree per RTs + Likes that this tweet gets. Deal?
— Jean-Michel Lemieux (@jmwind) October 30, 2019
You did it team. Carbon offset for all those bots.
Thanks for the nudge and support. Go donate!
— Jean-Michel Lemieux (@jmwind) October 31, 2019
YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki has taken notice of the major fundraiser happening on her platform, and showed up to help the #TeamTrees team, both in person and with a $US200,000 donation.
Incredible to see the momentum of #TeamTrees and the power of the @YouTube creator community raising money for @arborday. I'm donating 200k trees to help #TeamTrees reach 20M trees ????Thanks to @MarkRober for your leadership! https://t.co/ecIYetjHQ1 pic.twitter.com/SNDpdTbxgv
— Susan Wojcicki (@SusanWojcicki) October 30, 2019
Since then, YouTube has also pledged on Twitter to match up to $US1 million of donations that are given through YouTube’s fundraising feature. YouTube has yet to say that the $US1 million milestone has been reached, and has told Twitter users to “keep giving” and look out for YouTube’s contribution.
Can confirm it's legit. And we'll match the next million to keep #TeamTrees growing????
— YouTube (@YouTube) October 30, 2019
it's a matching donation based on giving through YouTube. So keep giving and you'll see us on the leaderboard soon https://t.co/J9em9INyo8
— YouTube (@YouTube) November 7, 2019
The team behind video game “Plants vs. Zombies” announced in December that it would donate enough money to plant $US500,000 trees.
Because more trees = less zombies ????????♀️
In the spirit of Feastivus, we're planting 500,000 trees with @teamtreesofficl #????????????♀️????????
— Pl????nts vs. Z????mbies (@PlantsvsZombies) December 2, 2019
The #TeamTrees campaign has even made its way into the sports world. Detroit Lions player Tyrell Crosby will sport a pair of #TeamTrees-themed cleats in his upcoming NFL game as part of the league-wide initiative of players wearing personalised cleats to later be auctioned up for charity.
Can’t wait to represent @arborday with my #TeamTrees cleats this week vs. the Vikings! The cleats will be auctioned off with proceeds going towards planting more trees! #MyCleatsMyCause @MarkRober pic.twitter.com/S56tbRzikX
— Tyrell Crosby (@Tyrellcrosby) December 4, 2019