Online gaming communities and content creators are working together to raise money for Team Seas before the end of 2021.
On October 29th, popular Youtubers MrBeast and Mark Rober released videos to promote their newest fundraiser, Team Seas. Like MrBeast’s last fundraiser in 2019, Team Trees, TeamSeas has set their goal to raise $30 million before 2022. The money that will be raised will be split evenly and given to two non-profit organisation charities, Ocean Conservancy and The Ocean Cleanup. Content creators from all over the world are helping to raise money in unique and creative ways, all promoting the Team Seas website to donate.
Ocean Conservancy as an organisation focuses on making the ocean a safer place for animals to inhabit. Since their founding in 1972, they have expanded their perspectives and aims, creating more opportunities to keep the oceans clean and safe. They currently have seven programmes, most of which anyone all over the world can get involved in, from helping to combat climate change to cleaning up beaches.
The funds raised from Team Seas projects will help fund their International Coastal Cleanup to help create Trash Free Seas®. This event has been running for over 30 years, with 153 countries taking part in local clean-ups. With research showing that 59% of sea birds and 100% of sea turtle species have been found with plastic in them, coastal clean-ups are essential to aid wildlife. More international beach cleans will create a safer natural environment for local and endangered species.
The Ocean Cleanup is a non-profit organisation that aims to tackle the growing problem of rubbish flowing into the sea. Boyan Slat, CEO and founder of the organisation, created The Interceptor to combat rubbish that cover the river mouths. This ship-shaped machine is designed to be able to stop rubbish from flowing into the ocean and take it up into its conveyor belts and disposed of into container units. Those containers, when full, will then be collected and disposed of by government-run rubbish services, before being put back and the process to continue. The Interceptor is designed to be scalable, energy neutral and connected to keep it functioning 24/7. Slat says in an interview with Mark Rober that “ultimately we want to help ourselves out of business” as progress should be made to develop long term solutions to the issue. Currently, the government of the Dominican Republic is working with the organisation, with their Interceptor being operated by the Dominican Navy.
The funds from Team Seas will help to mass produce The Interceptor and place them at the mouth of every rubbish filled river in order to stop them from flowing into the sea. With three currently placed in high-ratio rubbish areas, their aim is to be able to place them at the 1,000 most polluting rivers in order to combat the problem at the source. As these 1,000 river mouths are the cause of more than 80% of river plastic in oceans, being able to tackle them will provide many benefits to both the local communities and the rest of the world.
Although the campaign has been going for a short time, the funds raised have almost reached halfway at this point. Many people from the gaming, YouTube and streaming communities have risen to the challenge and made videos and fundraisers in unique ways. From map building in Roblox to challenges on games like Fortnite, the community has found different ways to help whilst staying on brand. The Minecraft community has especially been active, with server events and adding modifications to the game has been at its height.
For American Youtuber and streamer Rekrap2, the server he and his friends are on held an event to clear up blocks scattered around their world, all while being chased by another player. With just under 400,000 subscribers, he and his community are doing their part to raise money for Team Seas.
Rekrap2 offered his input on how the community is coming together. He said “I think it’s amazing to see the different bubbles of YouTube come together to support this project. There are animation videos, songs, and gaming events that show how diverse yet connected YouTube can be. I’ve gotten some backlash that my video is garbage because I cleaned up trash in a video game, but I don’t view [the video] in that way. I’m supporting the environment by raising money and spreading the word.”
To me, the importance of this movement comes from its collaboration. When else can you get the entire internet to support a good cause? This project is a statement from the YouTube community that we are willing to put the money where our mouth is to change the world for the better. That is why I support it.”
Commenting on the Team Seas project in general, he said “In my mind, cleaning up trash can only be seen in a positive light. People argue this project will not make a difference, and that’s probably true. The world has an assortment of environmental problems and 30 million pounds of clean up might not make a dent, but that’s no reason not to support it. Environmental problems are complex and hard to solve. Almost every step towards a better future will be tedious and have weak impact, but it’s progress nonetheless.”
Despite the Covid-19 pandemic posing challenges to physical fundraisers, gamers have shown via their use of remote technologies that positive change is still achievable. With the combined efforts of well-known content creators and upcoming Youtubers like Rekrap2 doing what they love whilst raising money, gaming as we know it can be viewed in a more positive way.
If you wish to support the cause, check out the official Team Seas website.
Featured image credit: The Ocean Cleanup