Team Seas: A Creative Responsibility
In 2019, one of YouTube’s largest creators, MrBeast celebrated the occasion of him reaching 20 million subscribers by planting 20 Million trees with the help of Mark Rober and thousands of other creators in the form of TeamTrees. Well, MrBeast now has a subscriber base of well over 70 Million, and has established a reputation for being the most philanthropic YouTube personality. His stunts range from giving away Lamborghini’s, 40 cars in one go, and millions of dollars over the last couple of years. His partner Mark Rober has also been explosive on YouTube, with an educational/science-focused channel garnering over 20 Million Subscribers with feats like World’s tallest Elephant toothpaste explosion, using glitter bombs to ridicule porch pirates (and scammers too) as well as making squirrel obstacle courses (they may not serve the purpose of keeping bird-feeders secure, but they’re still cool). With these successful feats, along with the fact that the creator economy is thriving more than ever, MrBeast and Mark Rober are back to save the environment in a new way, with support from all of the creator community. They have initiated Team Seas with the goal of removing 30 Million Pounds of trash from water bodies around the world. Let’s dive in to see what this means for the environment, how team seas is making this big of an impact, why this is happening, how you can contribute to TeamSeas and the fascinating dynamics of philanthropy in the creator/influencer economy:
Why Team Seas?
Here’s a fun story. A few years ago, humans finally managed to go down to the Mariana Trench. That’s over 7 miles deep in the ocean, and as expected we saw new species of marine life including shrimps, fish, new aquatic plants and something that looked like a Jelly fish. It was not a jelly fish. It was a plastic bag. Let me be very clear, the place where no human and ever went was already polluted by a plastic bags. Plastic pollution is a serious problem, and TeamSeas is part of the solution.
On the face of it, team seas looks like any other charity. You donate money, and it is used for some good cause. However, it’s a lot more. It’s a global vision and a mindset. Creators big and small are becoming an integral part of entertainment, and the growth of YouTube as a platform for content-consumption is just one example. Writers like us everywhere are creators, so are the thousands of awesome streamers, “Instagrammers” and “memers” around the world. We as a community deem it our responsibility to look after our environment, after all we are the future of entertainment and content consumption. With this, two of the biggest content creators, MrBeast and Mark Rober, backed by all other creators started TeamSeas as a successor to TeamTrees. TeamSeas is most trustworthy, with every dollar donated being used to remove one pound of trash from oceans. It is founded by the most trusted personalities on the internet, so you know it’s reliable. They are also partnered with existing organizations like Global Ghost Gear Initiative and the Ocean Conservancy to make the clean-up process easier and more reliable. This way, we are re-assured that TeamSeas is surrounded by people who know what they are doing.
On top of all that, here’s my favourite part about Team Seas. They are driven to be efficient. More about how they do their work in a minute, but the way the combine science and non-profit clean-up’s is legendary. Some examples of this include the Interceptor and System 002. It’s nothing but a bonus that Mark Rober is also a former NASA engineer, so I am reassured that TeamSeas will be scientifically advanced in its clean-up’s.
What will Removing 30 Million Pounds of Plastic do for Us?
Well, exactly why do we want to remove 30 million pounds of plastics from the ocean? Well, we’ve grown to know plastic is bad for us and that is true, so let’s find out exactly what damage plastics do first, to understand the impact removing 30 Million Pounds of Plastics will have:
1. Plastics Directly Kill Marine Life
Plastics blend really well with our surroundings. Their translucency is useful for human purposes, but that makes them unidentifiable to animals, who aren’t aware of what those plastics are. Many turtles appear to mistake them as Jellyfish and eat them, causing them to choke and die. Fish eat micro plastics which ends up damaging their digestive system. Many marine animals are even strangled to death in plastic bags because they cannot get out. Plastic is extremely durable, a property humans appreciate, but a fish who died in a bag because it couldn’t breakout might not be as appreciative of its durability. Plastics are also known to emit harmful chemicals and gasses, which also contribute to killing fish, plants and other marine animals.
2. Plastics Corrupt the Food Chain
We learnt that fish end up consuming plastics, but that can have a bigger, indirect impact. For example, if a phytoplankton (the smallest marine animal, also the start of the food chain) consumes some micro-plastics, the phytoplankton will eventually die. However, if it is eaten by a bigger fish, the plankton will die, but the fish that ate it will be poisoned. A similar process will take place as bigger animals eat that fish, polluting the entire food chain. But… that’s not all because those bigger animals include humans. A large amount of the world’s protein come from marine animals including Oyster, some marine weeds, fish, crabs, lobsters, etc. This means that the piece of plastic you threw away last month could end up back on your plate after killing at least 2 or three animals, directly or indirectly.
3. Plastics Reduce Oxygen
Over 50% of the world’s oxygen comes from the ocean, with tiny planktons that photosynthesise, which as we know produces oxygen with the help of sunlight. In fact, the Prochlorococcus is the smallest photosynthesising animal in the world! Now imagine the impact that a bag of plastic would have if it blocks sunlight from reaching those planktons. Now think even worse, when plastics degrade over the course of hundreds of years, they emit harmful chemicals that may kill the planktons, replacing the carbon dioxide they intake with methane or other greenhouse gasses, which can kill them and reduce the contributors of oxygen on the earth, which just means we have less air to breathe in a time where we really need it.
4. Plastics Accumulate in Water Bodies
Here’s something to think about. If plastic gets clogged up in one area. As we observed in MrBeast’s video, they can pollute beaches, destroy settlements and make an area inhabitable with a horrible smell. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Plastic clogging up in the ocean can mean less area for fish to live in. It also means more gasses being emitted on degradation in a confined area.
5. Climate Change
Oceans are the biggest contributors to the climate. They are the basis of the water cycle, which pretty much controls the entire climate. If the Oceans were poisoned, the rain we receive would also be acidic, more commonly known as acid rain. Plastics in the ocean which emit toxins into the environment also change the climate. Oceans also carry warm winds from the equator to the poles and cold wind from the poles to the equators. They are also responsible for trade winds. Without these process, climate will change severely and may even make the Earth inhabitable. Not to mention, the manufacturing of that plastic can use 800 times more oil than the Exxon Valdez disaster and emit more greenhouse gasses than the entire automobile industry in the same span of time.
Despite this, if you feel that removing 30 Million Pounds of Plastics from the ocean will do nothing, this part is for you. 30 million pounds is a lot. For context, the Blue Whale (largest animal known to man) is approximately 300,000 pounds. So removing 30 Million Pounds of plastics is like removing 100 blue whales worth of waste, or about 7328 cars worth of waste out of the ocean. But, Team Seas isn’t stopping there. Their goal is to achieve a 90% reduction of floating ocean plastic by 2040. Now that’s really big, but it starts right here, with 30 Million Pounds by the end of the year.
How Will Team Seas Manage to Clear the Ocean?
Well, that’s a tough question, but we can start with some basics; there are three main bodies team Seas is targeting. Let’s take a look at them:
Beaches and Team Seas
With the experts at Ocean Conservancy, TeamSeas will send professional crews to clean up some of the most iconic, vulnerable beaches on the planet. The locals are encouraged to participate in these. The ICC is the largest beach cleanup network in the world and they, along with TeamSeas will partner with local authorities to make all beaches in the world a better place. They are most prominent in the USA, Europe and Africa but are making their way into Asia too, making significant impacts to Philippines and Malaysia.
Rivers and Team Seas
Rivers are the main source through which human trash (thrown in them by people in smaller towns) end up in Oceans. TeamSeas will fund Interceptors, The Ocean Cleanup’s river cleanup technologies that collect trash before it can reach the ocean. The Ocean Cleanup has several Interceptors already deployed in some of the world’s most polluted rivers to catch plastic and trash upstream. TeamSeas will support the expansion and continued operation of this work as The Ocean Cleanup takes aim at the 1% of rivers which contribute 80% of the trash flowing into the ocean from rivers. You can see it in action in Mark Rober’s video:
Oceans and Team Seas
Team Seas main focus in the Ocean is to reduce plastic clutter left by old fishing gear which pollutes the ocean and unintentionally kills many marine animals. Teams Seas partnered with Ocean Conservancy’s Global Ghost Gear Initiative® to go to ghost gear (abandoned gear) “graveyards” (large areas where they have formed a group), where they will identify and float the abandoned gear to the surface, hook it onto boat cranes and remove it from the ocean forever.
Following such clean-ups, TeamSeas works closely with local authorities to appropriately dispose the trash collected. Let’s take a look at how:
- Items like cans, glass, and plastic beverage bottles will be separated and recycled.
- In cases where contamination of the trash and/or lack of local recycling makes it impossible to reprocess, trash will go to a proper disposal site in accordance with local regulations and capacity.
- They ensure to segregate the plastics, particularly between fibrous and hard plastics, so they are able to dispose them in accordance with government guidelines.
- Many plastics extracted have been underwater for quite sometime. This makes recycling tougher than conventional plastics. However, TeamSeas and their partners have developed appropriate recycling methods like sorting, shredding, washing and drying, and extrusion to do so.
- Many of their machinery, including the interceptor, are solar powered. This ensures they do not inherently polluting the world while cleaning the ocean.
How can you Contribute to Team Seas?
Well, the first and foremost is obviously to donate. Every dollar counts, and it means 1 less pound of plastics in the sea. Even if you can only afford, say $1 a month. If you do that for the next 3 months, that’s $3 or 3 pounds of trash removed. Now, put this into perspective. If everyone in your country did that, how much of an impact would that make? For example, my country, India has a population of 1.3 Billion. That means if everyone does what you just did for the next 3 months, that’s 3.9 Billion pounds of plastics gone from the ocean. Now that’s big! But if you can afford more, there’s nothing better!
Secondly, you can participate yourselves. If there is a Team Seas campaign in your locality, go participate. Or, if you prefer, organize a cleanup yourselves. It’s not only about TeamSeas, but about the oceans, so we all encourage you to help clean it up.
If you are a creator, or just someone with a large social following, help promote the cause! Tweet with #TeamSeas or make a couple Instagram posts and link out to TeamSeas. Even sharing this article on your socials and to your friends/family will help bring awareness. As I said in the beginning, this is a campaign powered by creators. So go ahead, make a video, article or generally content to promote the cleanliness of the Ocean, and link out to TeamSeas.
The Creator Economy’s Impact
You heard me use the words “Creators” and “Creator Economy” a few times in this article. Well, what does that mean? TeamSeas is a big philanthropic venture powered by creators, but what exactly does that mean? How can people making videos on YouTube be able to power one of the biggest philanthropic ventures in history? Let’s take a look:
The creator economy is thriving and is bigger than ever, just look the numbers: YouTube had 1.86 Billion users in 2021 alone. Out of them, the average user spent approximately 30 minutes on the site. The number of content on YouTube also jumped in 2021 with almost 500 hours of videos being uploaded to YouTube every minute. Most YouTubers pull in more views than traditional T.V. shows. But, Creators don’t just include YouTubers. Bloggers like us have also been on an all-time high, with almost 1,197,982,359 websites around the world. With that, we can imagine the biggest creators have a large influence over their audience, and many would prefer the word influencers rather than creators. With that, we can establish YouTubers have the ability to change the world. However, it isn’t always well understood. Just take a look at YouTuber Marques Brownlee describing his experience being a YouTuber, explaining this life.
Many of these YouTubers use that influence to generate revenue, with which they can buy luxury cars and huge mansions. However, many also use their influence for good. Famous YouTubers have given millions to charity, and TeamSeas is only the latest example. Pewdiepie helped raise $1.3 Million for the RED foundation, Jacksepticeye raised $1.4 Million to fight child poverty, and MrBeast is known for pioneering videos in the genre of “giving away money”. Just take a look at these videos.
The creator economy is in its prime, and its participants are trying to push it further. The channel Colin and Samir have been known to interview many Internet personalities, including MrBeast. Just look at what MrBeast had to say about his growth “My mindset has always been to make the best videos possible, and re-invest whatever I make. I don’t care about making a profit if it means I can make the best videos possible…..If you take away my channel from me, I don’t know what I’d do”. That’s the kind of dedication that has pushed creators like him to the top. On top of this, MrBeast uses his money to make others happy, something he really enjoys. Here’s a quote from the same video “When you give someone $100 when they were only expecting $10, and you see their face light up, that gives a certain kind of feeling”.
Conclusion on Team Seas
That’s my thoughts, on Team Seas and creators around the world. Team Seas is a big initiative, and every dollar donated is bringing us one step closer to a better planet. We ourselves will donate 50% of our revenue to TeamSeas for the next 3 months. Here is TeamSeas’ official FAQ, in case you wanted something else answered. What do you think about all of this? Comment down below. Make sure to subscribe to our newsletter too. Make sure to share this article with your family and friends. Our final goal, let’s see if we can get both MrBeast and Mark Rober to see this post!Share this Post
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