YouTube Unveils Slate Of Sustainability-Focused Originals, Plus Earth Day Campaign Featuring Creators

By 04/20/2021
YouTube Unveils Slate Of Sustainability-Focused Originals, Plus Earth Day Campaign Featuring Creators

YouTube is producing a slate of sustainability-focused Originals as part of Google’s climate action pledge, which will see the tech giant go carbon-free by 2030.

Programming will kick off Earth Day, April 22, with a special episode of BookTube featuring Bill Gates and his book How to Avoid a Climate Disaster. The episode will feature YouTube creators Ariel Bissett (255K subscribers), Emmanuel Acho (494K), asapScience (9.61 million), Prajakta Koli from MostlySane (6.17 million), and Destin Sandlin from SmarterEveryDay (9.61 million).

Together, Gates and the creators will discuss “the biggest challenges facing the global climate crisis, and a variety of solutions the world can adopt to achieve the ambitious goal of reducing emissions of greenhouse gasses from 51 billion tons a year to zero,” YouTube says.

Also set to premiere April 22 is the second season of actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s Emmy-winning series Create Together, which showcases art pieces submitted by viewers. This season, Gordon-Levitt is asking audience members to send in pieces–from songs to short films to sculptures–inspired by the “celebration of our natural planet.”

The season will feature guest stars including Philippines-based activist Mitzi Jonelle Tan and NASA scientist Dr. Dalia Kirschbaum.

Create Together’s episodes are filming now; art pieces can be sent in at HITRECORD.org/CreateTogether.

YouTube’s “Humans of Earth Day” campaign will feature more creators

YouTube additionally plans to launch an Earth Day campaign featuring YouTube creators “who are doing positive work for the planet year round with the hopes of educating and inspiring others,” it says.

The “Humans of Earth Day” campaign will launch on YouTube’s own channel, and will feature more than 30 creators, including scuba diver DALLMYD (12 million subscribers), minimalist living expert JHÁNNEU (9.59K), and ceramacist dear Ali Ceramics (2.68K).

YouTube’s climate change efforts will extend beyond Earth Day: it will debut at least four more sustainability-focused Originals later this year (details below), and will create content and host events as part of environmental ventures with Global Citizen Partnerships and TED.

With Global Citizen Partnerships, YouTube will host Global Citizen LIVE, a Sept. 25 event similar in structure to YouTube’s 2021 New Year’s Eve countdown. The live broadcast will air from multiple locations around the world, and will be centered around Global Citizen’s Recovery Plan for the World.

As for TED, YouTube’s ongoing partnership with the media organization will see it continue work on Countdown, a global sustainability initiative. Specifically, it will create content around TED’s 2021 Countdown Summit (Oct. 12-15), including satellite events where YouTube creators will talk about the effects of climate change and sustainability on their lives.


A 2020 Countdown installment.

“Climate change presents a variety of enormous, complicated challenges that urgently need the world’s attention and collective action,” Susanne Daniels, YouTube’s global head of original content, said in a statement. “We are committed to producing even more projects that can inform viewers, inspire action, and ultimately improve our changes of making a more sustainable future for our planet.”

You can see details about YouTube’s full 2021 sustainability slate (with descriptions provided by YouTube) below:

  • Seat at the Table–Premieres October 2021
    Seat at the Table follows YouTube creator and climate advocate Jack Harries, as he highlights the devastating impacts and innovative solutions to climate change. This 12-episode series will feature YouTube creators, communities, campaigners, and innovative problem-solvers spanning multiple continents to discover the untold human and environmental stories behind the climate crisis. Harries also meets with iconic experts, including Sir David Attenborough. At the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), Harries will confront some of the most powerful people on the planet and demand action from those truly on the frontline of the climate emergency. The series aims to give people from around the world a seat at the table and the opportunity to have their voices heard on a global stage. Seat at the Table is produced by Colin Butfield, Jonnie Hughes & Helga Berry.
  • Stay Wild [working title]–Premieres October 2021
    From YouTube’s Brave Wilderness and Leonardo diCaprio’s Appian Way and Madica Productions, Stay Wild (w/t) will explore Earth’s critically endangered environments through a series of immersive adventures with Mark Vins. In his first expedition, Vins will hack through the treacherous, sloping rainforest of Rwanda in an attempt to find the last of the wild mountain gorillas. While embedding with the park rangers who risk their lives and spend months apart from their families to protect the gorillas, he will ask “What can we do now that will help these animals stay wild?” Part Butterfly Effect, Vins will follow a chain reaction of events to show viewers exactly what actions they can take that will have a lasting and direct impact on the other side of the world. Stay Wild is produced by Brave Wilderness, Appian Way and Madica Productions.
  • Shut It Off ASAP [working title]–Premieres October 2021
    In this new series, YouTube creators AsapSCIENCE–two city boys–are leaving their comfort zone and heading to the country. Part The Simple Life and part I Bought a Farm, Mitch and Greg find themselves on a remote farm, trying their hand at going green, regenerative farming, and building a sustainable lifestyle. They’ll be joined by FarmTubers, experts, and other YouTube Creators who will help execute their vision of living off the grid and deliver takeaways that can be replicated back at home! Shut It Off ASAP is produced by YouTube Entertainment Studios.
  • Kid Correspondent–Sustainability-themed episodes premiere October 2021
    Kid Correspondent returns with a three-episode block exploring sustainability themes and how kids around the world can help take care of our planet. From SoulPancake and the team behind the beloved Kid President brand, Kid Correspondent first aired as a four-part election themed special in 2020 and centers around the next generation of kid journalists dedicated to making the world a better place and helping other kids develop the necessary skills to one day become more informed and involved grown-ups. The show’s correspondents will be joined by guest “celebrity grown-ups” as well as real-world kids making a difference through sustainability, while offering viewers practical tips for protecting the environment. Kid Correspondent is produced by SoulPancake, a division of Participant.