We tried to plant 10,000 trees in Minecraft, but Gratitude makes doing it in real life even easier

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Trees aflame in Minecraft, symbolising the warming climate of the earth.
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Minecraft has been used in the education system for years now. It’s easy to understand, deep enough to teach some valuable foundational logic, and just downright fun with its simple controls, bright colours, and sandbox “go anywhere, do anything” gameplay loop. It’s also a great way to quickly showcase the issues that stem from gleefully chopping down trees in our environment.

You drop into a lush, green world, and spend the next few hours completely levelling it with your bare fists and primitive tools, repeating a part of human history we’re really starting to regret. We’ve been robbing creatures of their home by destroying nature, polluting the air in the process, and digging up the plants perfectly designed to counteract it. It’s heartbreaking.

The world is heating up. We can’t deny it any longer. Greenhouse gases and the like are causing noticeable (but still reversible) problems for this beautiful green planet of ours. And with fossil fuels still being burned at an alarming rate and companies finding more and more obtuse, useless, and inexcusable reasons to tear up forests, valleys, and even just the small groves or grassy verges in your neighbourhood, it’s amazing to hear that there’s a way to help all that without really lifting a finger. And that’s thanks to Gratitude, an upcoming and forward-thinking subscription service that aims to make gaming greener.

We’ve damaged a lot of the planet already, but there’s still a chance to make things right. One of the methods we hear of the most is by replenishing the dense woodland we’ve felled over the centuries, reinvigorating the world’s natural defences against air pollution and flooding - giving local wildlife a boost in the process. Those bees serve a purpose, and every other little creature on this earth has a part to play in the natural order we’ve upset.

Planting trees in Minecraft.

What can we do?

But there’s only so much you yourself can do, right? You can’t be the one to go out there and plant an entire rainforest. We haven’t tried it, but we can loop back to Minecraft for an example. Hopping into Creative mode on a new server, we armed ourselves with 512 Dark Oak Saplings and teleported to a nearby village with the idea of setting out and turning the lake town into a woodland paradise. Though it only took one minute to plant each stack of 64 saplings, that’s still around ten minutes of frantic clicking and repositioning when you factor in the terrain. Planting 10,000 trees would have taken almost three hours.

In reality, though, ten minutes to plant a single tree is closer to the mark. There’s a lot more to it than just mentally right-clicking a spot on the ground and seeing a budding tree sprout up. 10,000 real trees? That’s 100,000 hours. 416 days. Or, if you split it into manageable eight-hour shifts, 1,250 days. When you consider there were 390 billion trees still left in the Amazon rainforest around seven years ago (which still wasn’t enough to offset humanity’s carbon footprint), some quick math points out I’d have to click at that rate without stopping for 4.5 million days to plant that many trees. And that’s in Minecraft. The electricity you’d consume in that effort would just make things worse.

The point here is that we can’t save the world on our own. We just don’t have the time. But together? There’s a chance. And when you can play your part just by sacrificing a single artisan coffee a month and playing the game that caused you to find this article while it loaded, what’s not to love? Let me explain.

The volunteers of a charity Gratitude supports.

What is Gratitude?

Gratitude is an upcoming subscription service that costs about as much as a cup of coffee at your local cafe. Every day? Not at all. Every month is when you pay out the cost of a single latte to Gratitude that, in return, helps causes you care about. But your recurring charitable donation doesn’t have to sprout a beautiful sapling at all. Which environmental organisation it goes to is entirely up to you.

Gratitude is set to partner with a number of great charities and people looking to help the planet, its people, and its incredible creatures in myriad ways. If you’re already out there sowing seeds, for example, you’ll be able to easily ask Gratitude to send your donations to help wildlife conservation efforts, like RangerLab and How Many Elephants, protect endangered animals like elephants, rhinos, and alligators from the effects of poaching and big industry. Those animals aren’t the big brutes they appear to be: we are. And, using Gratitude, you can help save them without putting down your controller.

So how does this apply to the wider gaming community out there? Easy. Gratitude doesn’t just donate a portion of your monthly subscription fee to a good cause. It’s also aiming to partner with your favourite videogame services and storefronts to offer exclusive cashback offers as well. And, just like the monthly subscription fee, you’ll be able to control where this free money goes. Why is it free money? Because it’s a kickback from whatever you would normally spend on in-game purchases anyway.

Why it’s perfect for gamers

Say you’ve been spending a tenner on IAPs every month for some new cosmetics to keep your favourite games fresh. Well, the idea is that Gratitude integration would make it so that you get a portion of that cost back as cash directly into your bank account. But why have it there ready to spend on that latte again when you can nominate it to go into something more serious; like a savings account or investment portfolio that grows without your constant input? And, as expected, you can dial in exactly how much of that kickback you might want to go directly to a chosen charity, too. It’s effortless donating using money you’ve technically already spent.

So, if you’ve finally woken up to the reality that our world is in danger but you’re not sure what to do to help - Gratitude is a great answer. Signing up for Gratitude is an effortless process that will immediately turn your current lifestyle into one that helps replenish the world’s green space, save animals from extinction, and even potentially save future generations from a problem we’ve all had a small part to play in.


As an added bonus, the first 1,000 annual Gratitude subscribers will be entered into a draw to potentially win an Xbox Series S Gilded Hunter bundle with a controller. So be sure to head on over to Gratitude’s official site to learn more!