Plants trees while you search
Recently I wrote about the electricity used by the Internet and actions you can take with your website to reduce its power consumption. Here I want to talk about another idea - using a different search engine to reduce your environmental impact.
I do a lot of online searches every day and I bet you do too. What if every search you did helped towards planting trees? Well, there is a search engine that does just that. It's called Ecosia. It's a strange name but it's a very good search engine.
How does this work?
OK, so how can a search engine, plant trees? Well, search engines make money through advertising - that much is clear - actually, they make a lot of money through advertising and Ecosia is no exception.
Ecosia is a not-for-profit company and they take the money they make and invest it in planting trees. They partner with organisations all over the world and arrange for trees to be planted where they’re needed most.
They plant trees in places such as:
- The Philippines
Search with Ecosia
The last time I checked the stats, they had planted 149 million trees. Just think about that - 149 million trees just through people like you and me doing Internet searches. It turns out that, they plant one tree for around every 45 searches.
Their own servers are powered using renewable energy, so they have calculated that by planting trees and only using renewable energy, they are a carbon negative company. They remove over ½ kg of CO2 from the air every time you use Ecosia to search. A carbon negative company, how many of those do you know of?
To be fair though, this doesn’t mean that searching with Ecosia is carbon negative. When you search, the data has to be transmitted to you over a network and that uses energy. However, the fact that the organisation that provides the data is carbon negative is a big plus.
If you want more reasons to use Ecosia there are 50 reasons here.
Making the switch
To be perfectly honest, I was a little sceptical about Ecosia when I first heard about it but I have since become convinced that it’s not a gimmick but a genuine company providing a first-class search engine that uses the money it makes to plant trees, just as they say.
Recently I switched to Ecosia and now use it for all my internet searches. It's really easy to switch and, in my experience, Ecosia works well. I get the information I want, it's fast, it's as good as Google and it's a lot more private. What’s more, if you don't like it, you can easily switch back.
Apparently, if everybody who uses Google for search switched to Ecosia, they could plant enough trees to absorb all the carbon dioxide from all the cars in the world.
So why not give it a try? You can switch right now and know that every search you do will help plant trees around the world.
P.S. I know this sounds a little evangelical and you may be wondering if this is a sponsored post on behalf of Ecosia, it isn’t! To me, using Ecosia seems the right thing to do and I’d like to encourage you to make the switch as well.
The photos on this page are from Unsplash and Pexels.