It’s a known fact that our environment is in grave danger. We need to collectively change how we consume and help save Mother Earth.
But did you know you can help save the environment just by surfing the net? You can do that through Ecosia Search Engine.
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Nature’s dire call for help
The sixth Global Environmental Outlook released by the UN last March contained the assessment of the planet’s state.
Since the first global outlook in 1997, the Earth’s condition has been constantly deteriorating, and “urgent action at an unprecedented scale is necessary to arrest and reverse this situation.”
In an article by The National Geographic, Executive Director of UN Environment Joyce Msuya, said that “The health and prosperity of humanity are directly tied with the state of our environment.”
She also noted that the Earth’s ailments are treatable, but if we still don’t make fundamental changes, our planet will be beyond redemption.
“People need to create huge changes and consider what they consume. We need to look at ways on how we can get renewable energy, dispose of our waste, and reduce the human footprint that damages land, water, and air as much as possible.”
As inhabitants of Earth, we should help heal our environment in any way that we can.
While governments discuss new regulations and policies to take care of the environment, we as citizens can help out too.
Did you know that you can help the environment just by searching and surfing the internet? Yes, it’s possible.
This small gesture could help in saving the environment even without going out of your way, so even if you’re busy, you can still definitely help out.
You can help save the environment through the Ecosia Search Engine.
What is Ecosia?
Ecosia is an Internet search engine based in Berlin, Germany that donates 80% or more of its profits to non-government and advocacy organizations that focus on reforestation and conservationism.
Founded by Christian Knoll in 2009 to coincide with the UN climate talks in Copenhagen, Ecosia’s mission is to plant as many trees as possible through search engine results.
How does Ecosia work?
Ecosia works just like other search engines Google, Bing, and Yahoo. In fact, Ecosia runs through Microsoft’s Bing and uses similar algorithms for their search engine.
Of course, we can’t expect Ecosia to immediately be as smart and as efficient as Google because Google has exponentially progressed its algorithms and tools in over two decades, compared to Ecosia (which initially ran as an initiative in 2009.)
However, you can get Ecosia as a default browser in Chrome as an extension. Just click on the extensions panel on your Google Chrome browser, add Ecosia as an extension and you’re good to go.
In every 45 to 50 search queries, you can plant one tree. Some of the areas they are covering are Africa, Brazil, and the Philippines, among others.
You can check how many searches you’re planting on the search counter you can find on your browser. All in all, Ecosia has planted more than 64 million trees all over the world.
How do they count the trees?
Ecosia claims that they are only planting trees local to the site of reforestation. And planting trees doesn’t guarantee they are growing into actual trees, so Ecosia only counts the trees on their counter that will survive for more than three years.
If the extension is free, then where does Ecosia get its funds?
Of course, planting trees isn’t free. You will need saplings that will be planted on the site, so how does Ecosia fund that? Just like Google, Ecosia gets its fund through ad placements and traffic.
The more people use the search engine, the more traffic they get, which will attract more advertisers. With the revenue from ads, Ecosia deducts its operational expenses and devotes 80% of its profit to tree planting activities and conservation endeavors.
Is Ecosia search engine legit?
Ecosia is definitely legitimate. This social business gained its place as the first German B Corp with its social business model. In June 2019, they have successfully planted 60 million trees, and in 2022, they planted over 155 million trees.
And even when Ecosia is plagued with doubts about privacy and selling of data, it is the same case with other big search engine sites as well.
Ecosia is operating through solar energy. It has built its own solar power plant to do just that! Not only are their servers more than CO2 Neutral, but they are also transparent in their organization. They also claim that they “do not sell your data to advertisers, have no third party trackers, and anonymize all searches within one week.”
They release financial information and tree-planting updates on their website blog, so you can keep track of their tree-planting activities and other initiatives as well.
Ecosia plants trees in PH
Ecosia has been continuously expanding its tree planting portfolio with more than 35 countries, partnering with local organizations to plant more than 900 species of trees to date.
By 2020, they have added the Philippines to their list, in hopes to restore forests from the destruction of rampant deforestation.
Locally, they are working with the Non-Timber Forest Products-Exchange Programme (NTFP-EP) to “work with indigenous communities and plant native seedlings that restore the land.” Ancestral lands are inherited by the IPs across generations and culturally, they help protect nature from further destruction.
Meanwhile, Ecosia also partnered with Kennemer Foods, which also helps “restore forests and create agroforestry systems for smallholder farmers.”
Help plant trees and change the world
We might not be able to physically plant trees ourselves, but we can certainly help plant them through Ecosia. Every search counts, so use it every time you surf the internet!
If you have free days and want to spend them helping the restoration of Mother Earth, you can join these green organizations in the Philippines.
Have you tried using Ecosia? Share your experience with us in the comments!