There is a 10-year-old search engine that you’ve likely never heard of but it will offer a similar experience to the major players and it does good for the environment - it plants trees as you search.
Ecosia is a search engine like no other - and one that I, personally, have immediately adopted whole-heartedly.
If, like me, you’ve found yourself questioning your own environmental impact on the world we live in, ever since David Attenborough’s BBC documentary, Blue Planet II, in 2017, adopting Ecosia could be a really easy way to improve.
I now find myself conflicted about using plastic straws, and I take pride in taking ‘bags for life’ everywhere, but what else can I do?
Netflix’s 2019 documentary, Our Planet, narrated by David Attenborough, highlights the shocking truth of deforestation around the world in episode 3, Jungles, and the whole series has made an impact on virtually every viewer.
Ecosia, a search engine for the environmentally-aware, promises to ‘planet trees while you search the web’. It’s a simple, but effective promise and one that has resulted in more than 55 million trees being planted to date (April 2019).
Christian Kroll is the Berlin-based entrepreneur and founder of the search engine, which launched in December 2009.
Interestingly, the Ecosia website proudly states it planted 25 million trees as of April 2018, fast forward a year and it has doubled that number in just 12 months.
Are we all more environmentally aware, or simply less keen to use the bigger search engines because of recent data and privacy scandals?
- We don’t store your searches permanently
- We don’t sell your data to advertisers
- Your searches are encrypted
- We don’t use external tracking tools
- You can turn off all our tracking
Instead of company profits being shared amongst owners and investors, the company promises that approximately 80% of its profits will go to planting trees and investing further into the company to encourage more users = more trees. These profits are generated by ad revenue, so the more you get lost in an internet search, the more trees you help to plant! According to Ecosia, it takes an average of 45 searches to plant 1 tree.
The company is dedicated to transparency, with a tracker highlighting how many trees you’ve helped to plant, as well as publishing its financial reports and information on the trees you’ve planted in the last period - view the reports here.