Who knew I could save the planet by searching for cat videos…
We love finding easy ways to incorporate more sustainable practices into our lives. From swapping beef burgers for Beyond Meat this weekend or renting our next occasion outfit instead of spending a small fortune for a new one, it’s always nice when the planet-friendly option is also incredibly convenient.
And this is why we love Ecosia.org.
What is Ecosia?
Ecosia is a search engine just like Google or Bing. The search results are fast and we’ve found the results to be similar between the platforms.
You can add an extension to make Ecosia your default search engine in Safari, Chrome, Firefox, Vivaldi and Microsoft Edge for desktop browsing. And you can download an app for your Apple or Google device.
They are committed to transparency, privacy and helping the planet by planting trees.
Just a note on the privacy side. They anonymise all searches within a week and don’t store searches permanently. All searches are encrypted and they don’t use any third-party tracking services.
How does it work?
It’s super simple:
Once you’ve installed the browser extension or mobile app, you search the web with Ecosia just like you would another search engine.
There are search ads on Ecosia, like there are on Google and Bing, and when people click on those ads, that generates income for Ecosia. To maintain privacy, they don’t sell your data to advertising partners.
Ecosia then uses this income to plant trees across the world by working with local partners on the ground.
How does it help the planet?
Starting at home, Ecosia servers run on 100% renewable energy and every search request is actually helping remove CO2 from the atmosphere – 1kg per search.
They have over 8 million active users and with the revenue generated by search ads, they’ve planted 66 million trees since they started. Their projects cover the globe, from Central and South America to Europe, from Africa to Southeast Asia.
> partner with local organisations who know the challenges their region faces first hand
> help reforest areas where all the trees have been cut down
> partner with farmers practicing agroforestry, planting crops within forests
> help conserve biodiversity in flora and fauna
An example: Joram is a farmer in Uganda. His village cut down all their trees to plant tobacco, but their water supplies soon dried up. Ecosia helped them plant trees and since 2011, their wells have never run dry.
‘So we find that tree planting is actually life for water and water is also life for people and animals.’
What can you do?
Head over to Ecosia.org. Download the browser extension and the mobile app and go about your normal business.
Only now, you’ll be planting trees every time you search for the latest updates to the latest Brexit meltdown or to find out how your favourite contested did on Bake Off.