As a regular 9-5 worker, I don’t really have much time to try and be more active in helping the world mitigate climate change, forest and ground fires, and the many other challenges affecting the environment. But I always try to pitch in, in my own way, by doing just simple things. Little Go Green acts like bringing my own water bottle, using public transportation, and engage in recycling. But my little heart somehow tells me that it is not enough and most likely, will never be enough too.
That is until the day I stumbled into a search engine called Ecosia. To sum it up in just a few words, every time you search anything using Ecosia, you are contributing to the regreening of the planet.
Ecosia? How does it work?
According to their FAQ page, every 45 searches using Ecosia, will lead to the planting of a tree, and anyone can check how many trees had been planted under the scheme. Real time data provided by the search engine was showing that 83,772,634 trees had been planted by the time this article was being written.
“it takes approximately 45 searches to finance the planting of one tree. We know that Ecosia earns an average of 0.5 cents (EUR) per search. It costs our tree planting partners about 0.22 EUR to plant a tree. 22 cents divided by 0.5 cents makes about 45 searches until we can plant one new tree.”
Like any other search engine out there, Ecosia also seeks to make money which it does through advertisements that appear in their search results, in collaboration with Bing as partner and selling merchandise through their online store. But the profit they make are donated to allow the planting of more trees.
To be totally honest, I was a little skeptic when I first read about Ecosia. It was just too good to be true. So, I keep reading their website and found their financial report. Ecosia financial reports are pretty complete and have almost everything that you need to know regarding where their profits go. They also list NGOs and communities they donated who help them to plant trees around the globe.
Their latest big campaign was to help Australia, following the devastating forest and ground fire that had hit it in the past months. They allocated 100 percent of their profit from one day to plant trees in the Byron Bay area. This campaign was a huge success and saw 26,446 trees being planted in the area.
Is it too good to be true?
Well, of course there will be a downside in using Ecosia. Compared to Google, a giant search engine which I had gotten used to use on a daily basis, Ecosia has its limitations. It is not as fast and the search is not as complete. First time Ecosia users would probably notice this instantly and will feel the struggle.
But then, when on really think about it, such weakness may well be worth it. With one tree being planted every time Ecosia is being used 45 time, take time to think about it.
Is it worth the slight discomfort? I certainly think so.