#Teamtrees: One step closer to ending climate change

Marie-Elise Latorre

More stories from Marie-Elise Latorre

#Teamtrees is a 2019 fundraising challenge aimed at planting 20 million trees by Jan. 1, 2020. The initiative was started by YouTubers Mr. Beast and Mark Rober. The fundraiser works by receiving donations from users and then sending those donations to a charity called “Arbor Day Foundation”, who pledged to plant one tree for every dollar that is donated. #Teamtrees has raised over $16 million. But why is Mr. Beast planting trees?

Well it all started when Jimmy Donaldson, more commonly known by his online alias Mr. Beast, suggested that he plant 20 million trees to celebrate him reaching 20 million subscribers on YouTube. Former NASA engineer and YouTuber Mark Rober partnered with Mr. Beast to start the fundraiser. On Oct. 25, 2019, Mr. Beast uploaded a YouTube video explaining his plan.

“I think #Teamtrees is an amazing charity. It really takes the huge internet community that we have and it’s using it for a great cause, which is saving the environment and planting 20 million trees,” senior Sonal Rajapakse said.

Even though many students believed that the fundraiser was a great idea, some were skeptical about the process and the outcome. Rajapakse questioned how and where the trees were going to be planted.

“Because it’s always like you donate one dollar and this kid gets a bowl of rice, and you are like what? How does that happen? So I’m always skeptical and I’m always like, I don’t know about that, but I hope it works and it’s a lot of money going into it,” Rajapakse said.

Meanwhile senior Sarah Kuziora doubts that the trees can change the future of climate change.

“If there are like 15 billion trees that are cut every year, and he’s doing 20 million trees, it’s going to take like less than a year for all the trees to not even matter,” Kuziora said.

Even though some kids are happy that this initiative is occurring, they believe that neither they nor WJ students would donate money to the charity.

“Teenagers steal donuts from Giant, I really doubt they are going to donate money to this charity. I don’t really know any teenagers that actually donate their own money,“ Rajapakse said.

Nevertheless, many students appreciate the first step towards fighting climate change and hope that celebrities like Mr. Beast will continue to help with projects like these.

“[I hope that celebrities will] maybe raise money, not for planting trees, but for other environmental charities,” junior Maggie Welsh said.