Ecosia is the search engine that plants trees.
For every search you make, ads generate income (just like any other search engine) – however, Ecosia invests their surplus income into reforestation projects across the world.
So far over 39 million trees have been planted around the globe. The homepage counts the exact number of trees and since I started using Ecosia around 3 months ago, the counter has increased by over 7 million! It takes around 45 searches to plant a tree, which might seem a lot but so far I’ve contributed to the planting of over 1000 trees on my phone and laptop – you can see this number in the top right corner every time you search. This number is based on the combined impact of you and other Ecosia users because not everyone clicks on an ad each time they search. I really love this feature because it quantifies the impact of your searches and shows you’re making a difference.
The Ecosia site even includes a map of the reforestation projects and links to their websites, so you get to see exactly where your searches are planting trees. For those worried that the money isn’t really being spent where it’s supposed to be, Ecosia publishes it’s financial reports to ensure complete transparency for its users.
Yeah, I think Ecosia is awesome – but is it superior or even equal to Google? I’ll be honest: no, not quite yet. Little things such as searching for a film will (obviously) bring up info about it on both search engines, but Google goes further and gives the option to scroll through the cast, similar films and even reviews. This isn’t an enormous inconvenience and Ecosia still gives you the info you want, it just isn’t as streamlined as Google yet. I still use Ecosia for my everyday searches – although Google is sometimes my backup when Ecosia doesn’t bring up what I want straight away.
Ecosia is a great search engine because it cares about our planet and, to me, that’s far more important than using fewer clicks to find what I need. The best part is it’s such a tiny change that could make a really important difference to our planet. So to start planting trees, all you need to do is set Ecosia as your default search engine on your laptop or download their app on your mobile and keep searching like normal!