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CROWDSOURCING SUSTAINABILITY

Ecosia: Plant Trees by Surfing the Web

 

You’re going to love this one. So easy and good.

Make Ecosia your default search engine!

If you start using Ecosia, trees are planted thanks to your web searches.

Sounds too good to be true right? That’s what I thought, but I did my homework and it’s legit!

I’ve been using Ecosia for a month now to test it out. I haven’t noticed much of a difference between it and Google which I used to use. But now I know that, on average, every 45 web searches I make result in a new tree being planted (equivalent to 1 kg or 2.2 lbs of CO2 removed from the atmosphere with each search).

Pretty cool, right?

Ecosia does this by taking 80% of the money they make (from ads, like Google does) and using it to plant trees around the world. Founded in 2009, they’ve planted 50 million trees so far and have an ambitious goal to plant 1 billion trees in the most threatened forest ecosystems by 2020. Ecosia says that if they made as much money as Google, 15% of annual global emissions would be absorbed by their trees.

In addition to helping reverse global warming, planting trees has a host of other benefits especially to poor agricultural communities including:

  • Providing nutrition.
  • Providing employment.
  • Freeing up time to allow for education.
  • Restarting water cycles.
  • Keeping deserts from spreading.
  • Protecting wildlife.

If you try it out and like it, consider getting your company, school, or even town library to make it their default search engine.

With 7 million users right now, Ecosia is planting a tree every second.

This post originally featured in the What on EARTH?! sustainability newsletter.

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