Planting Trees While You Search the Web

As someone taking a research writing class this semester, I’m going to be looking up quite a lot of things. While I could use Google and all of its search engine glory, I could use a smaller engine and save the planet at the same time. So when I’m working hard on my next paper, someone is working hard to plant a tree for all my searches. Here’s how it works:

Ecosia

The name of the search-engine is Ecosia and has all of the basic functions that Google has. Along with the search-engine, it can do the simple conversion and math queries. In these respects, it functions identical to Google.

Upsides

Ecosia plants a tree for every time you make roughly 45 searches with them. So far, the searches have totaled up to just over 36.5 million trees planted by users which is insane. They are currently working on the goal of planting one billion trees. Planting trees all over the world, they are helping people and places overcome hardships like the expansion of the Sahara, reforesting volcano slopes, or helping communities rebuild after deforestation.

They also post their monthly financial reports and tree planting receipts to show users exactly where all their searches are going as well as developing trust. Ecosia wants users to see that they’re out planting the trees that people have searched into existence.

To top it all off, they have a simple design to convey their message and they don’t sell your data to advertisers or have third party trackers like most other search engines. There's also a mobile app, so you aren't limited to only bettering the environment when using a computer!

Downside

Google is a multi-billion dollar company who has the money and the resources to maintain Google as it is today. The different apps provide a sake of ease for the user since everything is online and you don’t have to worry about not saving. Ecosia doesn’t have any of those apps.

Overall, I’m not saying that we should all boycott Google and stop using it. I wrote this article in Google Docs before publishing it here. But, we should make a conscious effort to support smaller companies like this who have goals at bettering the planet. With having to do research for school or just having general questions, it’s an easy switch and a worthwhile one to make.

 

(All pictures are screenshots from the websites and all rights belong to Google and Ecosia)