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MrBeast Teams Up With Elon Musk And Other Influencers To Plant 20 Million Trees

Avery Maloto

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MrBeast organizes a movement to plant 20 million trees

On October 25, 2019, Internet-sensation MrBeast impressed environmental activists on all platforms. Jimmy Donaldson, otherwise known by his online alias MrBeast, is a Youtube Influencer with over 25.3 million subscribers. He is widely known as the individual responsible for popular outrages, and expensive, challenges. Now, he’s looking to work with influencers and other donors to plant trees. But not just any number of trees: 20 million of them.

In the past, MrBeast has minted Youtube hits including “Spending 24 Hours Straight Under Water Challenge” and “Anything You Can Carry, I’ll Pay For Challenge.” But now, MrBeast seems to be taking a break from his usual video content. Instead, he appears to be taking a large stride in a newer, but greener, direction. Taking on what he calls his “Biggest Project Ever,” MrBeast announced that he is trying to plant 20,000,000 million trees by 2020.

The Video

Fans all over the world spammed MrBeast on any social media platform they could utilize in order to get one message to him: “Plant 25 million trees or I’ll kick you NO JOKE”. In response to the surge of comments, the YouTuber decided that the only proper reaction was to make it happen. 

At the beginning of his video reveal of the project, MrBeast stands in the middle of an open, grassy field with a handful of his friends.

Taking a comedic spin on the matter, he takes the audience through brief instructions on how to plant a tree:

First, dig a hole.

Second, put the tree in the hold.

Third, cover the base of the tree in mulch.

Next, water the tree.

And lastly, repeat a total of 20 million times.

Although a simple guide to the process, MrBeast quickly encountered a flaw in his plan. Although he had the determination, the team lacked the manpower to physically accomplish his goal. However, fans immediately decided to help the internet icon once they heard.

The following day, what looks like hundreds of fans gathered in the field. All joining in on the project, some individuals contributed hours of hard work to the green goal. Remarkably, one girl even managed to dig 473 holes for newly planted trees. 

Unfortunately, despite all the help, the team still was unable to finish the project by themselves.

Teaming Up To Make #TeamTrees

In order to finish his project, MrBeast devised a plan in order to reach the community’s goal of planting 20 million trees. As an alternative, the Youtuber teamed up with the largest non-profit, tree-planting organization, Arbor Day Foundation.

By creating a fundraiser, the two created a #TeamTree. #TeamTrees is a platform that ensures that for every $1 raised by the public, 1 tree will be planted. According to the website, all donations are going directly to the Arbor Day Foundation. Currently, over 6 million trees were planted as a result of the fundraiser.

MrBeast personally donated $100,000 to plant 100,000 trees.

#TeamTrees Impact

Concluding his video, MrBeast makes a powerful statement noting that “we only have one Earth, and it’s important we take care of it.” He continues his video with photographs of wildfires as the background, “Recently, lots of not-so-great things have been happening to forests and people just keep making fun of our generation for retweet activism and not actually doing something.”

Since the beginning stages of this project, many are taking notice of MrBeast’s activism. Not only is the public continuing to donate to the cause, but many top YouTubers are as well. The likes of Mark Rober, Jeffree Star, and Simply Nailogical have contributed to #TeamTrees. Additionally, Tesla CEO Elon Musk donated $1 million to the cause.

Conclusion

To some, MrBeast’s video may just seem like a regular YouTube video. However, his work is serving a platform for everyone to contribute to climate reform. In three days, #TeamTrees managed to raised enough money to plant over 6 million trees. At the time of this writing, it has raised enough to plant over 11 million trees.

With donations continuing to flow in, these numbers continue to rise. Hopefully, many more will follow in MrBeast’s footsteps. If the public is lucky, perhaps another YouTuber will tackle another large eco-friendly challenge.

To donate to #TeamTrees, go to https://teamtrees.org/.

Advocacy

Kanye West Unveils Plans for More Sustainable Yeezy Shoes … Using Algae-Based Foam

Maryanne Derkaloustian

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Kanye West

Though Kanye West is known for his radical opinions, nobody expected him to come out with algae-based Yeezy shoes. Well, it turns out, he’s joining the cadre of celebrities who have expressed their concern for the environment. And more so, he is echoing the sentiment that every business has a responsibility towards sustainable development. At the recent Fast Company Innovation Festival, Kanye revealed a new algae-based Yeezy design and plans to make older models environmentally friendly too.

Though for now the details of it all are still unclear, Kanye’s intent seems genuine enough for a start. In this day and age, it is understood that innovation and sustainability go hand in hand in any business. People expect the brands they know and love to have a proactive stance towards today’s sustainability problems.

So to take a step back, what is the algae craze anyway? And why, out of all materials, is Kanye looking to use algae in the newest Yeezy shoes?

The Algae Problem

Algae is typically harmless, but not when it grows out of control. Because farmers use excess fertilizer, plants don’t absorb it and it runs into bodies of water to feed algae colonies instead. And global warming isn’t helping either. Because algae grows in warm conditions, this summer’s weather resulted in a significant spike in algae levels.

High concentrations of algae lead to high concentrations of cyanobacteria, which can have adverse health effects. These can range from abdominal pain to severe respiratory paralysis. Moreover, this surplus of algae blocks sunlight from reaching plankton, which effectively disrupts aquatic food chains.

Kanye West Has A Solution

The new Yeezys require far less fossil fuels than its more environmentally-taxing counterparts. Though the shoe still contains a few petroleum-based chemicals, the main component, the algae-based foam, eliminates a good amount.

Because algae is renewable and abundant, it is a perfect candidate to use to make a shoe. Using it to make eco-friendly everyday items can mitigate several environmental threats.

Kanye West Is Revamping The Older Models Too

Kanye West Yeezy Shoes
The Current Yeezy Shoes From Adidas

West hasn’t completely forgotten about his older models. The company plans to move its headquarters to a 4,000-acre ranch in Wyoming, where it can farm all the fibers it needs.

Production will also move to the United States, where the company will also work on creating low-impact dyes. After all, dyes also create significant fashion-related environmental hazards.

Summary

It is always a pleasant surprise to see celebrities show concern about the planet and actually do something to tackle environmental issues. Kanye West, known already for his radical approach to fashion, seems to be a shoo-in for an initiative like the one he’s started.

Although his ideas are at their earliest stages, they show great promise, both to the environment and fashion worlds. And we can only wait to see what comes of them.

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Advocacy

Adani’s Contractors Are Rising Up Against The Company’s Carmichael Coal Mine Project

Rich Bowden

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Carmichael Coal Mine Protests

Ever since Adani, one of India’s largest power businesses, announced its thoughts to work on a new mega-mine (denoted the Carmichael Coal Mine), critics have examined what the implications could be.

First and foremost, the Carmichael Coal Mine would later be on the lands of ancestral people, stripping them of what they knew to be home for years. Next, an advocacy group, #StopAdani, reports that having the coal mine built would result in allowing “500 more coal ships to travel through the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area every year for 60 years.” And if that’s not enough, the Carmichael Coal Mine would also result in a whopping 4.6 billion tons of carbon pollution being added to our atmosphere.

Adani is permitted to build in spite of harming the environment

The Carmichael Coal Mine was once just a proposal. But just a few months ago, The Queensland government gave Adani the green light to start building. The decision has evoked a state of shock among many. Critics are continuing to ask questions that would clarify why the Queensland government would put the environment on the back-burner. Why is it that profit comes before the environment? At what point is enough, enough?

Though it looks like critics aren’t the only ones to rebuke Adani’s efforts to continue with the Carmichael Coal Mine. It’s also the people who work for the company: contractors who work for engineering company GHD, which leverages its talent pool to help Adani.

And now that the proposed thermal coal mine in central Queensland has been approved, Adani is now partnering with contractors (including GHD) to help build the mine and rail link. To that end, the pressing question for many of GHD contractors is: “Why us?”

Over half of GHD’s staff upset about company’s involvement in Carmichael Coal Mine

Market Forces, a sustainability advocacy group that pushes businesses to reduce their carbon footprints, recently tweeted out the results of a survey they had run with GHD staff:

Some of these findings include:

“70% [of staff] say GHD is risking its ethical business credentials by working on the Adani Carmichael.”

“62% say GHD should stop working on projects that expand the thermal coal sector.”

GHD’s business integrity called into question by its employees

The advocacy group also collected quotes from GHD staff and published them on its social media accounts.

One employee said: “This project is a blight on GHD. It contravenes GHD’s sustainability policy and core value of integrity. It makes me ashamed to work for GHD.”

Another commented: “I previously didn’t know about the Adani controversy. Having found out about it and the company’s involvement quite frankly I’m ashamed, embarrassed, and extremely disappointed, not least for the fact that the company are being so stubborn in listening to the public and its staff.”

Market Forces comments on the Carmichael Coal Mine project

Market Forces campaigner Pablo Brait said the group opposes the Adani Coal Mine project. Additionally, the group is actively campaigning to have businesses cut ties with the mega-mine.

“We don’t think any company that sees itself as a forward-thinking or ethical company should be going anywhere near the Adani Carmichael project,” Brait said to the ABC.

Protesters look to get GHD to take action against the Carmichael coal mine project

The leaking of staff discontent comes as protesters across Australia targeted GHD for its involvement with the controversial coal mine. More than a dozen GHD offices throughout the nation saw protests last week, some of which led to arrests.

Anti-mine advocacy group #StopAdani said the survey and leaked emails are evidence of progress for the Adani protests. However, GHD management has vowed to continue their association with Adani to help build their mine and rail.

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Greta Thunberg rejects environmental award, demands climate action instead

Ari Kelo

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Greta Thunberg

This Tuesday, activist Greta Thunberg turned down the Nordic Council’s 2019 Environment Prize.

“It is a huge honor,” she told the Council. “But the climate movement does not need any more awards.”

Instead, the movement needs governments “to act in accordance with what the science says,” according to Thunberg.

Greta Thunberg urges change over awards

In her statement declining the award, Thunberg demanded that the Nordic countries do more to combat climate change. As it is, Nordic countries boast about their environmental achievements, but the reality “is a whole other story.”

Knowing this, Thunberg sees the award as a representation of the performative environmentalism adopted in the Nordic region.

“The Nordic countries have a great reputation around the world when it comes to climate and environmental issues. There is no lack of bragging about this. There is no lack of beautiful words,” she said.

But Thunberg believes the Nordic countries are not doing nearly enough to combat climate change.

Account for Nordic carbon emissions, consumption, imports, shipping, aviation, and other harmful industries and you’ll find that Nordic environmentalism is all talk, no game.

“In Sweden we live as if we had about 4 planets,” Thunberg continued, citing the World Wide Fund for Nature and Global Footprint Network. “And roughly the same goes for the entire Nordic region.”

She noted a recent example. The Norwegian government recently approved a record number of permits for companies to find new oil and gas sources. What’s worse, a new oil and gas field just opened up and will run for 50 years, emitting 1.3 tons of carbon dioxide. And global emissions are already reaching disastrous levels.

It’s time for action

These actions of the Nordic governments, that ignore environmental threats in favor of profit, have larger consequences than officials may realize.

Thunberg mentioned that it’s the Nordic countries that need to make the first strides. As the Paris Agreement stresses the concept of climate equity, Thunberg believes that affluent societies must take initiative.

“We belong to the countries that have the possibility to do the most. And yet our countries still basically do nothing.”

So, as long as Nordic countries continue to ignore the dire threats of climate collapse, Greta Thunberg has chosen to decline the award.

In doing so, Thunberg has also rejected its 500,000 Swedish kronor (52,000 US dollars) in prize money. The Nordic Council is currently determining how else to dedicate the funds.

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