Two of YouTube's biggest stars — Mark Rober and MrBeast — are teaming up to plant 20 million trees by 2020, and Discovery Channel has all the behind-the-scenes action exclusively on DiscoveryGO. The campaign to help reforestation efforts, named #TeamTrees, has already raised enough money to plant 5,634,185 trees, and has been stirring up a buzz on social media, reaching the number three trending spot on Twitter since Friday's launch.
The campaign originated six months ago when MrBeast, real name Jimmy Donaldson, reached 20 million subscribers on his YouTube channel, typically dedicated to charitable videos and extreme stunts. His followers immediately suggested he collaborate with Rober, a former NASA engineer and inventor, to plant 20 million trees — an idea which went "super-viral" with both YouTube fans and environmentalists.
After the crew teamed up to plant 300 trees in eight hours, as captured on Rober's YouTube page, Rober realized they would need to up their game to make it to the 20 million mark in just a few months. While MrBeast used his ability to rally 1,000s of people to plant trees alongside him, Rober relied on his background as a scientist to search out another solution. It was then he discovered DroneSeed, an organization that uses drones to plant trees — first by mapping out the landscape using smaller drones with 3D-mapping lasers, then larger drones that drop "seed pucks" at predetermined locations ideal for a tree to grow.
Just three of these drones, it's estimated, could reforest an area six times faster than a whole team of humans, making it an ideal way to assist in wildfire relief efforts amid the changes brought about by climate change.
"After wildfires, we used to rely on mother nature to do reforestation for us, but due to some factors related to climate change, 40 percent of the time now we're seeing tall shrubs grow back instead of big old trees that can literally suck up tons of carbon," Rober explains in his video. "That's an example of where drones are perfect, because they can get in right away and start planting trees in the smoldering remains where it's too dangerous for humans to be on the ground."
He adds, "You can imagine the potential where you have a fleet of 100 drones."
Photo credit: YouTube/Mark Rober0comments