The 'post a pet pic, plant a tree' trend seems to be one big scam 6 months ago

The 'post a pet pic, plant a tree' trend seems to be one big scam

Who fell for it?

The Instagram trend of promising to plant a tree for every pet picture posted has been dubbed as a scam on Twitter.

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Writer and comedian Patrick Marlborough has alleged that the popular Instagram trend is actually a fairly elaborate con.

Taking to the social platform, he said: "ok, I found most the reporting on the 'post a pet plant a tree' story incredibly shallow/lazy, so I went on a bit of a deep dive, and boy is the truth as dumb, wacky, a pathetic as you'd expect. Follow a long if you want!"

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Alongside images from the account in question and his own Instagram stories, Marlborough unearthed the alleged truth in a rather extensive thread.

"Seems fair enough, doesn't it? Things got out of hand. They do want to plant some trees. All you have to do is donate to their fundraiser, so they can make it happen..." he tweeted alongside the official response from Plantatreeco, the social account that's apparently behind the trend.

Their statement basically admitted they couldn't plant four million trees and would instead bring awareness to the issue by starting a fundraiser.

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Then Marlborough dug into the business itself.

"Plant a tree co have a peculiar business model. Essentially, they sell cheap necklaces, and for each they sell, they plant a tree. or they donate the money to elephants! or Palestine! as per their insta, the cause can change week to week...

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"Created in 2021, there is very little info on their actual website. nothing about who they are, their vision, their staff, or how they do what they claim to be doing. 6,500 trees planted though, somewhere, somehow, no info on either. nothing."

He continued to say the necklaces are cheap and are actually valued at 50 cents each despite being sold for $36.

"But don't worry, that profit goes to trees/elephants/palestine."

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His sleuthing continued to reveal that the registered business address is in Florida but not at some huge corporation as you might imagine. Instead, the registered business address is in a residential area.

The business follows three accounts on Instagram, once of which they allegedly source their cute animal images from.

The other account they follow is their founder Zack Saadioui, who also owns another business called Prked that allows users to rent their driveways as parking spots.

Marlborough continues to dish on the founder, alleging: "he is a 23yo science major with a minor in 'innovation' (?) from the University of Florida with a background in entrepreneurship. He also lives in Boca Ratan, Florida! Convenient! That's where Plant a Tree Co is based outta some guy's house!!!!

"Nowhere on any of his more official looking listings could I find mention of his business Plant a Tree, which is weird! cos he's planted 6500 trees and should be proud, right?"

So it seems the business is dodgy.

"So there you have it. everyone got suckered by a 23 year old kid in Florida who is selling dirt cheap necklaces at an insane markup, claiming to donate the money to charity, and pocketing it. Good for him I guess."

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