On Instagram, our pets are scattered all over the world since someone promised to plant a tree for every photo. Planet A Tree says it is behind it, but states that the campaign is so successful that it is impossible to plant too many trees.
If you use Instagram, you may have already seen multiple pets passing by in the Instagram Stories of the people you follow with the text “We will plant one tree for each pet photo.” At least 1.7 million photos were shared via Instagram Stories before the sticker was disabled by Instagram.
It was by no means clear who was hiding behind “we” and thus who would plant the 1.7 million trees. Now Plant A Tree Co. (plantatreeco) claimed responsibility for starting the campaign, but at the same time indicated that it did not have the resources to plant nearly two million trees. It looks like on Instagram “We like how fast this post has grown”. The organization says it deleted its posts after 10 minutes when it became clear that the campaign would be very successful. Instagram hasn’t verified this yet.
Planet A Tree has now started a fundraiser – also via Instagram – to raise about $1 million and is still able to plant trees. The money will go to Trees For The Future, a US NGO that grows trees around the world, although it hasn’t yet clearly indicated that it actually works with Plant A Tree Co.
Trees For The Future states on their website that the cost of planting a tree is $0.25. So if a million dollars were actually raised, four million trees could be planted. Some people on Twitter are suggesting that anyone who shared a photo might be trying to plant a tree themselves.
This isn’t the first time that Plant A Tree Co. such groups. Their Instagram account shows that the company has also raised money for Palestine and the LGBTQ+ community through social media in the past. It is not clear what happened to that money.
On its website and Instagram account, the company also stated that, thanks to various measures, it has already helped to plant at least 6,500 trees. However, it cannot provide immediate evidence of this, nor is it clear where those trees were planted. The organization says the tree is planted for every string sold, but for now it’s being sold temporarily free. Not exactly the best business plan.
Add your stickers
The so-called Add Yours labels are from Plant A Tree Co. Used is a new feature on Instagram. It was introduced to Instagram users early this month. The Add Your Photo sticker allows users to add their own photos to an existing set of photos on a specific topic, such as a recent photo you took.
This poster usually appears in the gray behind the original post, but with the pet poster, the creator has disappeared. Perhaps because Plant A Tree Co. Delete the original post after ten minutes.
Actions on social media to plant trees are not new. In late 2019, American YouTubers MrBeast (Jimmy Donaldson) and Mark Robert started a crowdfunding campaign to plant 20 million trees to celebrate the same number of MrBeast subscribers on the video streaming platform. Meanwhile, more than $23 million has been raised and nine million trees have been planted.
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