It seems the quest for sustainable living doesn’t just have to be confined to the physical aspects of our lives. A few months back I heard of a new search engine which claims to plant trees whilst you search the web!
Ecosia is a free alternative to the google search engine based in Germany which uses approximately 80% of the profit they make from our own internet searches to plant trees wherever they’re needed the most. They provide some pretty cool statistics- from over 7 million active users Ecosia have been able to plant over 54 million Trees. These have been planted in locations in Spain, Morocco, Haiti, Nicaragua, Peru, Senegal, Uganda, Indonesia as well as many more places.
I was sceptical at first whether Ecosia was really doing what they said they were doing. However, their website provides links to their published reports on financial reporting and tree planting receipts. They believe strongly in gaining consumer trust in their organisation and aim to be as transparent as possible. Ecosia are also a certified B Corporation which means they meet the highest standards of of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.
There are many reasons to use Ecosia here are just some of them:
They are not for profit, with their primary aim to regenerate our planet by planting trees where they are most needed.
Powered on 100% renewable energy
Every search removes about 1kg of Co2 from the atmosphere.
Ecosia pay their fair share of Taxes! -unlike our multimillion pound corporation friends at Google.
They are fighting the palm oil industry and illegal logging.
Helping women in rural communities
I personally use this search engine for the majority of my internet searches now at work and at home and it hasn’t failed me yet. The best thing of all is that there is a handy little tally counter indicating how many trees Ecosia users have planted and how many you have personally planted through using their search engine. My next task is to try and convince our IT department at work to make Ecosia the standard search engine when opening up a web browser.
Of course, people may still prefer the tech giant Google for their internet searches and there are also arguments that it can take a little longer to find what you are searching for using Ecosia. However, Ecosia hasn’t been around as long as Google so lets let them off on 0.5 of a second in speed and I personally think it is a price worth paying to help plant trees and protect our environment. I just love the idea that throughout my day to day working and social life, something so simple such as an internet search, is contributing positively to the environment we all live in.
So give it a try and once you get used to it make Ecosia your default browser and here is how:
Chrome: In the upper right hand corner click on the three dots, select Settings, then Manage search engines. You’ll Find Ecosia under Other search engines, click on the dots and Make default.
Firefox: has a simple integration, Visit this page to get the extension.
Internet explorer: Step one stop using internet explorer. Its not been supported since 2016, go and download one of these other browsers and come back.
Microsoft Edge: in the upper right hand corner click on the 3 dotts, select settings and click on Advanced settings. Select change search engine and choose ecosia.org then click set as default.
Safari: simply add this Ecosia Safari extension.
Smart Phone: You can download the ecosia app for smartphones
And if you really cant get on with changing your search engine preferences then type #g into Ecosia and it’ll take you straight to Google, meaning we still get trees planted and you still get quick access to your Gmail.