If you’ve been on Instagram recently, you’ve undoubtedly seen a lot of pet images. You’re probably thinking what’s new about that. Well, this onslaught of adorable and cuddly pet photos was started for a good reason. That’s not to say we’re complaining!
After an online campaign was established with the goal of planting one tree for every pet image shared by netizens, this habit began to spread on Instagram. Plant A Tree Co., an Instagram account, started the fad.
Zack Saadioui of Boca Raton, Florida, who started the trend, was merely tinkering with Instagram’s new capabilities when he decided to publish a status encouraging netizens to share images of their dogs for the sake of the environment. According to NBC News, the response was overwhelming, with over 4.1 million Instagram users contributing to the cause.
People began to wonder who would be planting these trees, how they would keep track, and whether submitting a nice pet photo could help stop deforestation as millions across the world joined in. Are 4 million trees really being planted? No. In an Instagram post, the organization Plant A Tree Co. stated that they had not anticipated such a large reaction and that they lacked the means to complete the work. According to a Mashable story, they are now attempting to raise $1 million for @treesforthefuture, a nonprofit committed to tree planting.
Within 10 minutes of being posted, a post from the Plant A Tree Co. account inviting netizens to help plant a tree by sharing images of their dogs went viral.
“We posted the new ‘Add Yours’ story as a fun tree planting campaign where we can show off our awesome pets on Nov. 2nd! We immediately realized the post would grow too big and that we didn’t have the resources to plant that many trees, so we deleted it 10 minutes later. Even though we deleted it, a week later out of nowhere the stories continued to spread out of our control, reaching millions of reposts,” reads a part of the caption.
Whether or not this trend sees the day of light, it sure demonstrates Instagram’s ability to raise awareness about vital issues.