I use the internet for everything. As a Multimedia Design student, using the internet is on my daily agenda and something I do, without activiely thinking about it and yet, according to the guardian, the carbon footprint of the internet is around 300 million tonnes of CO2 per year.
“Thanks for this information Florine, but what do you want to do about it? Stop using the internet?” you might think to yourself right about now but I actually had something better in mind.
What if I told you there was a way to offset some of your contribution to the annual 300 million tonnes of CO2 we produce by using the internet, without leaving your couch?
Let me introduce you to Ecosia, a search engine, founded in 2009, dedicated to making a difference in this world and contributing to positive environmental change by planting trees with the searches we make on the web. Furthermore, it is a search engine that uses at least 80% of its profits from search ad revenue for it’s projects and already has over 5.5 million users worldwide that collectively contribute to planting a new tree every 1.7 seconds, simply by chosing the green search engine option.
Ecosia decided to plant trees in particular, because they are the most efficient CO2 absorbers on the planet. In addition, trees mitigate climate change, restart water cycles, keep deserts from spreading and turn barren grounds back into fertile woods and farmland.
“We at Ecosia decided to support one project at a time. This enables us to offer the greatest transparency possible, we can thoroughly look into who and what we are supporting”. – from the Ecosia website
It costs about 0.22 cents ( Euro) to plant a tree and with every search, Ecosia earns an average of 0.5 cents (Euro), which means that with every 45 searches, a new tree will be planted.
Ecosia is one of the leading social businesses and the first B Corporation in Germany , a company with a holistic approach to business and considers the environment as much as it’s employees and their communities, by providing educational training and sustainable jobs.
How to use the green search engine
The best and easiest way to install Ecosia in your Browser is to install their extension, which is offered for Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Opera. To install the extension either go to the Ecosia website and click “Add Ecosia” in the top right or use the direct links to our extensions.
How does it work?
You can use Ecosia on any desktop computer or laptop and on mobile ( iOS , Android App). Ecosia uses Bing’s search technology, enhanced with its own algorithms and it pretty much works just like any other search engine and earns money from affiliate links and your clicks on search advertisements above and beside the search results, of which Ecosia gives at least 80% of the profits from this ad revenue to its planting partners’ projects.
Go ahead and give it a try now!
What is the goal?
The goal is to plant 1 Billion trees by 2020, an abitios but necessary goal that will not only benefit the forest and their inhabitats, but us by association
5 Reasons why we should start using Ecosia:
- Transparency on point! Ecosia publishes their monthly financial reports and tree planting receipts here.
- Plant for free :As the web surfer or shopper, we pay nothing extra. We can surf the web and support tree planting for free! Yay!
- Motivating search counter: Let’s you know how many trees have been planted from your searches alone.
- Support a sustainable business: Making Ecosia relevant to advertisers by increasing their usercount is essential when we want to create sustainable positive environmental change. We vote with our actions and showing our engagement when it comes to sustainable businesses is a crucial factorif we want our future companies to be less about financial gain but ethical practices and positive environmental change are high on the priotity list.
- Planting a tree makes a difference: Not only do trees create fresh air and combat climate change but they create dependable employment opportunities for locals and therefore strengthen the communities potlitical an economic situation from the inside out.
Just like with adopting a Zero Waste lifestyle, using Ecosia requires a change of habit once, in order to make a significant long-term impact.