- The YouTube tree-planting movement that attracted the attention of donors like Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is being documented by Discovery, the company announced exclusively to Business Insider.
- The movement, known as #TeamTrees, was started by YouTubers Jimmy Donaldson (MrBeast) and Mark Rober in order to celebrate Donaldson reaching 20 million subscribers on his channel. The team plans to plant 20 million trees around the world in a year.
- Discovery will air its #TeamTrees special on Dec. 3 at 11 p.m. ET.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
The #TeamTrees movement started by YouTubers Jimmy Donaldson (MrBeast) and Mark Rober has raised over $15 million in less than a month to plant trees around the world, and the Discovery Channel has been documenting the efforts for a special feature event.
Discovery was given behind-the-scenes access to the tree planting campaign, the company announced exclusively to Business Insider, and will turn the footage into a feature for the channel that will air Dec. 3 at 11 p.m. ET.
The special, called “#TeamTrees,” features Donaldson and Rober as they begin the challenge of planting 20 million trees by the end of 2020, an initiative Donaldson took on after a fan on Reddit suggested he “save earth” to commemorate reaching the 20 million subscriber milestone on his YouTube channel.
If 100,000 people tune in, Discovery will make a donation of up to $100,000 to #TeamTrees as part of the “Watch and Plant” event, the company said in a statement to Business Insider.
"Discovery is an experiential brand and we're always looking for ways to give our audience opportunities to not just view, but also participate in simple ways like this," said Scott Lewers, Discovery's executive vice president of multiplatform programming and digital media.
Discovery special will provide an 'inspiring' look at the behind-the-scenes work that's gone into #TeamTrees
Donaldson and Rober worked with the Arbor Day Foundation, a nonprofit conservation organization, to organize the campaign, and rounded up a large team of other YouTubers to support their efforts. Rober called the group - which includes Ninja, Marshmello, Jeffree Star, Joey Graceffa, and thousands more - "the Avengers of YouTube."
Discovery has partnered with Rober in the past for his Shark Week episode "Shark Rober," then connected the YouTubers with the Arbor Day Foundation when they first started assembling #TeamTrees, according to Lewers.
Lewers said the Discovery special will showcase the hard work and creativity that's made the reforestation plan possible.
"It's not easy to mass plant trees, as viewers will see in the episode, but spotlighting innovative tech solutions like seed drones and organizations like the Arbor Day Foundation are things we're happy to get behind," Lewers said.
The #TeamTrees movement also attracted the attention of major donors outside of the YouTube community, including Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, both of whom donated $1 million each. Shopify CEO Tobi Lutke then topped those donations by $1, contributing 1,000,001 trees to the cause.
Each dollar funds the planting of one tree, a goal that #TeamTrees hopes to achieve by the end of 2020 by using the Arbor Day Foundation's international reforestation program network.
Fundraising will last through December, and the bulk of the tree planting will kick off in January, according to Arbor Day Foundation Vice President Woody Nelson.