In the latest news from young people combating climate change, a YouTube star has started a campaign to plant 20 million trees in honor of his 20 million subscribers. The campaign only started last week, and it’s already raised over $8 million.
In January 2018, Jimmy Donaldson, better known as Mr. Beast, had around two million subscribers. At the time of this writing, he has more than 24 million subscribers.
The 21-year-old does not come from a rich family but has already donated more than a million dollars to random strangers, friends, and family.
In an interview, he describes that you can be motivated by more than just one reason.
“I’m motivated because I want to support my mom and my family. I am motivated because I want to employ my friends and help them. I am motivated because I want to be a YouTuber.”
For his latest campaign, he was inspired to save the forests by a random Reddit meme posted by one single fan: “Petition for MrBeast to plant 20 million trees for 20 million subscribers special and single-handedly save the earth”.
“They wouldn’t let it go” he said in a statement. “All my video comments were about trees!”
After connecting with fellow YouTuber and former NASA engineer Mark Rober, the two reached out to the Arbor Day Foundation, a nonprofit conservation organization, to help them materialize this campaign. And thus, #TeamTrees was born.
The star has also recruited fellow content creators like Ninja, Marshmello, Jeffree Star, and Joey Graceffa to help promote the #TeamTrees initiative. These contributions (along with a $1 million contribution from Elon Musk) value the campaign at a whopping $8 million—in just over a week.
After its official launch last Friday, the Arbor Day Foundation started raising funds for its reforestation program that seeks to plant trees around the world. Fundraising will continue through December, and the first trees will be planted in January (in warmer climates such as Florida and Texas). The organization will eventually plant trees in every continent with the exception of Antarctica.
“This is by far the fastest climb to $8 million in individual, single donations that the Arbor Day Foundation has ever seen,” Arbor Day Foundation vice president Woody Nelson recently told Business Insider.
“Just to have it be so viral and to get so many small donations from individuals… It’s just making so many people feel really good.”