The company behind the trend quickly realised it had “grown too big”.
Instagram stories were taken over by photographs of furry friends on Monday after a viral trend took the app by storm.
People began sharing photos of their animals all using the same sticker reading: “We’ll plant 1 tree for every pet picture”.
While none of us here are complaining about cute puppy pictures, there were a few unanswered questions.
Most importantly – who was the ‘we’ that was promising to plant these trees?
As of Tuesday, the ‘Add Yours’ sticker has been used in over 4.1 million Instagram stories. That’s a lot of trees.
While Instagram was unable to verify how the trend originated, someone has finally come forward and claimed responsibility – a small business called Plant A Tree Co.
“Thank you for sharing your pets, they’re adorable,” the company wrote on its Instagram account.
“We posted the new ‘Add Yours’ story as a fun tree planting campaign where we can show off our awesome pets! 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, the stories continued to spread out of our control. Our credit for the post was also removed, because of what seems like an Instagram bug.”
So while the small company cannot plant 4 million trees alone, it has now come up with a way to try make it happen for real.
“We want to use this awareness for lasting impact, so we created this fundraiser. Please share this post and the fundraiser on your story, and tag all your friends, celebrities, and Instagram so they can see this and so we can ACTUALLY plant 4 million trees.”
Plant A Tree Co’s Instagram bio currently says it has planted 6500 trees to date, a far cry from its multi-million tree goal.
In the meantime, if you’re keen to help plant trees, there are several charities online you can donate to. Another effortless way to help out is to check out Ecosia – a search engine that’s dedicated to reforestation.