Let me guess … you’re using Google for searching the web?! OK, I admit, that one was easy. I think if you bet $1 on whether someone’s using Google and won, you’d probably get only 80¢ back. So what’s the business model of Google’s web search? They provide you with high-quality search results for free and in return, you view (and maybe click) some ads from which Google generates money. That’s a fair deal, isn’t it? Because without Google and its superior search quality, information on the internet wouldn’t be as accessible as it is.
Yet, let me ask you: Have you heard about Ecosia (http://www.ecosia.org/)? Ecosia is a new search engine that has the exact same business model as Google. However, the important difference between the two is that Ecosia donates 80% of their income from ads to a tree planting program in Brazil. The money is given to The Nature Conservacy, who run a reforestation program in the Brazilian rainforest and can plant one tree for one dollar (http://www.plantabillion.org/). Currently, Ecosia earns about 0.5¢ per search and thus plants a new tree every 32 seconds.1
When talking to friends about using Ecosia, a common counterargument is that the search quality is not as good as Google’s. Yet, I don’t think that’s a valid point. Firstly, alongside its standard search, Ecosia also offers Google results. Although these searches do not count towards the tree planting program, Ecosia buys certificates for neutralizing carbon emissions and providing a CO2-neutral Google search. Secondly, you can still use Ecosia for a first try and then search again using Google if necessary. It doesn’t hurt! It costs you only a few seconds, but in fact plants trees in the rainforest! By the way, I’ve set Ecosia as the default search engine in all my browsers and I’m very satisfied with their search quality so far. At the moment, my personal tree count is 344.
In my opinion, there’s no excuse for not using Ecosia. I mean, how much easier can helping the environment get? If you’re even too lazy for this, there might be something wrong with you. Ecosia’s goal is to support the planting of a million trees by August 2014. The current tree count is 324,959. So get it on and start searching!
“Ecosia is a search engine that donates 80% of its income to a tree planting program in Brazil. By searching with Ecosia you can help the environment for free. Give it a try!”