Like a lot of children today, my three enjoy watching videos on YouTube.
They will choose this over watching a programme on television, which is something I initially felt uncomfortable with—as I was cautious of what they would be viewing. However, I have to admit that often I am pleased with their choices. They follow YouTubers who portray morals, do good deeds for others, and appear to care about saving the planet.
While I have questioned whether these individuals care on a deeper level or are just doing these things on camera in order to gain subscribers, views, likes, and ultimately income, I appreciate that they are actually doing something—and being positive role models for their audience.
I would rather that my kids watch clips showing people recycling and planting trees than smashing up their friend’s iPhone as a prank—such irresponsible behaviour and wastefulness frustrates me. As does reading news reports that highlight all the commitments companies like Amazon are making, while their actions are still causing further environmental damage.
Jeff Bezos may now be offering a large donation to support his Bezos Earth Fund, but he’s also being clever with the climate impact statements that he reports—such as focussing on figures like carbon intensity to obscure the fact that his company is still generating an increasing amount of carbon.
As a child, the saying, “Actions speak louder than words,” was something I heard often, and have remembered well.
So, I was intrigued when my eldest showed me a video from the popular YouTuber, MrBeast, promoting a project named #TEAMSEAS, which he launched last year with fellow YouTuber Mark Rober. Jimmy, known as MrBeast, is famous for his money giveaways, and grand gestures to help others. In this video, they called upon his 87.9 million subscribers to support the project in conjunction with nonprofit organisations Ocean Conservancy and The Ocean Cleanup.
Not only had the two organised such an ambitious campaign, but they actually got their hands dirty too! They went to the world’s dirtiest beach and picked up rubbish with a team of locals and volunteers—and ultimately, they achieved their goal of removing 30 million pounds of plastic and trash from our oceans, rivers, and beaches across the globe. This follows a previously successful scheme to plant over 20 million trees around the world.
These projects are making a difference in the locations that they take place and are excellent at raising awareness of the growing issue. But, it makes me think, if MrBeast can do it, why can’t we all?
Of course, we may not have the resources that these celebrities do, but each of us can play our part within our local community. The majority of us have the ability to recycle or at least bin our waste—there should never be an excuse to drop or abandon litter (as we saw thousands do at beaches in the United Kingdom in 2020).
Maybe the British could learn from the Australians:
While we may not have the financial means to make vast donations, or the resources to undertake grand projects, each of us can play our part through our lifestyle choices, and our actions. We can help where we live by cleaning up our neighbourhood, or joining a locally organised litter pick.
We can’t all achieve as much as MrBeast does in his video here, but we can each make a difference and help protect our planet: