Why you should switch to Ecosia — the search engine that plants trees when you search
It was during a chanced visit to South America that sowed the idea of Ecosia in Berlin-based Christian Kroll’s mind.
In an email to media company Green Matters, the founder and CEO of Ecosia wrote: “I was travelling in South America in 2006 and I was shocked to see miles and miles of vast soy plantations where rainforests used to be. Instead of nature and animals, there were just green deserts pumped full of chemicals.” Three years later, he founded Ecosia.
As the effects of global warming intensify and the scale tips towards unprecedented climate change, Ecosia takes a step towards combating these issues and restoring the planet’s green glory.
But how can a search engine help with climatic change, you ask? The non-profit search engine contributes profits generated from search ads towards afforestation.
Ecosia believes in “everyone’s power to do good.” Hence, the onus of saving the planet lies with the search engine’s users. Every 45 searches made by a user on Ecosia ensures a tree being planted by the company.
Since its inception, Ecosia has grown by leaps and bounds and planted 118 million trees in 26 countries, and Kroll has no plans of slowing down. He has set his sights on planting one trillion trees and is certain that this will not only purge enough carbon out of the air but also tackle poverty and natural calamities like floods and droughts.
The company has also partnered with the US’ Jane Goodall Institute and Trees for Humanity to save the chimpanzees in Uganda, Africa. Together, they create “tree corridors” that help in bridging the gap between forests to ensure the safe movement of these animals. Ecosia has also worked towards women empowerment in Kenya and reviving watersheds in Ghana.
However, Ecosia’s emphasis on serving the greater good instead of making profits isn’t the only thing that sets it apart from other search engines. For them, a user’s privacy is of prime importance. They neither use external tracking tools to optimise their services nor sell user data to advertisers, unlike search engines like Google.
Kroll told Green Matters, “We anonymise all searches after four days — and we don’t sell any of your data so we don’t know anything about users.”
In fact, to protect user searches from eavesdroppers and other potential threats, each connection is encrypted. The non-profit search engine captures minimal data to improve its services.
A user can opt out of sharing this minuscule data by activating the ‘do not track’ option in Ecosia’s settings. Giving utmost importance to purpose and privacy, Ecosia states, “Forests need protecting and so does your privacy. We make sure to do both.”
Ecosia can also be added to your browser like Chrome.
Main and Featured image: Ecosia.org
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