There are various search engines available for you to use to browse the internet. But, at what cost? Google processes over 3 billion searches every single day. But, did you know that it’s also responsible for around 40 percent of the planet’s internet carbon footprint? And, that’s where Ecosia comes in.
While we use the internet every day, what we don’t realize is how the internet works. There are millions and millions of servers all over the globe. Each connected with miles of undersea cables, switches, and routers, making it work and run smoothly, and we have to use a massive amount of energy to do this.
So, what makes Ecosia different? Sure, it still uses servers and energy, but it’s doing something else behind the scenes to help offset its carbon footprint and that of every other carbon-emitting factor on earth.
Ecosia plants trees
Each time a tree is chopped down, we lose its potential ability to absorb CO2. If that tree has been burned, it now becomes even more of a contributing factor of carbon reaching the atmosphere.
Ecosia is helping to combat deforestation and offsets its carbon footprint and those of others by planting trees.
About 80 percent of the money Ecosia generates from people using its search engine is used for the environment. Most of that income is used to plant trees all around the world, especially in places such as Brazil, Madagascar, and Ethiopia. So far, the search engine has planted over 120 million trees. 
CEO and founder Christian Kroll explains how they can do it by working with local organizations to get the trees planted, 
“We stay close to the communities and ecosystem where the trees are needed and concentrate on countries where the government doesn’t have the means to carry out forestation.”Christian Kroll
Ecosia gives hope
The places where trees are being planted are often inhabited by people who farm. They have no idea that the land where they now grow crops was once a forest. Most of the places where Ecosia runs its projects have people asking for shelter or food.
“When you plant trees, you do so much more. Trees allow communities to harvest branches, fruits and nuts, build and to send the income to schools.
Seeds thrown into the air one year become vegetation the next rainy season. When people see it, they say, ‘Oh, I can stay in my village – there is hope.’”Christian Kroll
Kroll goes on to explain how planting trees is helping communities;
“In Nigeria, for instance, a lot of young people can’t feed their families because the crops aren’t growing. There is less rainfall than there used to be, people don’t know how to turn the land, and violent groups make it harder for low-income families to make a living. You can turn that around by planting trees.
The kinds of droughts and floods we have had recently mean the same thing – not enough vegetation to hold water in the soil, and when the rain comes, it also takes away the vegetation.”Christian Kroll
How the search engine works
Like most search engines, Ecosia generates money by hosting advertising. Each time someone clicks on an ad when conducting a search, just like the ads you see on Facebook or Youtube, they make money. This is where their funding for planting trees comes from.
Users are also able to sign up. This enables them to track how many trees their searches have helped contribute. The more people who use the revolutionary search engine, the more income they can generate towards their cause.
Ecosia users are asked not to click on ads randomly, as this may lead to lower income for the project in the process.
- “Every Google search results in CO2 emissions. This real-time data viz shows how much.” Quartz. Anne Quito. May 7, 2018.
- “If you care about the environment, you should try the tree-planting search engine Ecosia.” G Hacks. Martin Brinkmann. February 21, 2021.
- “How The World’s Largest Green Search Engine Is Fighting Climate Change.” Forbes. Heather Farmbrough. November 10, 2020