Creative Criticality Supports #TeamTrees

Creative Criticality Supports #TeamTrees


There is a movement occurring on YouTube, and this time it’s both constructive and potentially world-changing.

Back in May 2019, YouTube content creator MrBeast (known in meatspace as Jimmy Donaldson) reached 20 million subscribers on his channel that is dedicated to pranks, stunts, and general tomfoolery. To be completely honest, I had never heard of MrBeast before last weekend since I prefer more educational, sci-fi genre, and current events-type channels to (let’s say) the stylings of PewDiePie. But, upon reaching 20 million subscribers, MrBeast asked his audience what he should do to celebrate, and they made their desires perfectly clear.

They asked him to plant 20 million trees. One for each of his milestone subscribers.

MrBeast teamed with former NASA engineer Mark Rober to start a tree-planting campaign, which is where I heard about it. Over several months, they secretly recruited friends on YouTube to develop the plan, eventually opening it to everyone. Every creator has a community of friends and followers, and if they all donate even one dollar per tree, they can all plant 20 million trees together by 2020.



My family is deeply linked to the environment. We spend a lot of time enjoying the natural world all around us through hiking, river rafting, and scuba diving adventures. We do what we can to help keep it safe through local litter pick-up days, our neighborhood’s adopt-a-highway program, donating to conservation causes, and supporting organizations and legislators who share our ecological values.

Creative Criticality and my family are on board with this effort.


The donations go to the Arbor Day Foundation through the #TeamTrees portal. The mission team chose the Arbor Day Foundation due to the organization’s 47-year longevity and professional knowledge in the field. The trees will be planted in a variety of forests and public lands starting in January 2020 and the project is scheduled for completion by December 2022.

Planting 20 million trees won’t save the planet by itself, but it is a step in the right direction.


You can help by going to and donating what you can. You can also help by asking your favorite content creators to join the effort by rallying their audiences with videos and posts like this. Even talking about #TeamTrees in social media feeds helps boost the signal. The more people who come to the cause means a greater chance of success.

Thank you for consideration.



Don’t just take my word for it. Here are some videos from my YouTube subscription feed that brought #TeamTrees to my attention.

Mark Rober investigated companies that are using drones to plant trees via biomimetics.


Derek Muller from Veritasium examined the science of tree heights.


Bob Clagett of I Like To Make Stuff gave his audience a quick tour of his farm.


Destin Sandlin from Smarter Every Day took a look at long-leaf pines and the role of fire in helping them to grow.


Joe Hanson from It’s Okay to Be Smart on PBS examined the physics of photosynthesis and how it would change on other planets.


Alan Melikdjanian, known as Captain Disillusion, devoted a couple of minutes to rallying his followers to the cause.


Once again, you can help by visiting the #TeamTrees donation portal, asking your favorite content creators to join the cause, and telling your friends about the quest to plant 20 million trees.



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