Every 45 web searches you could plant a tree. And every time you book a hotel on the internet you could plant 25. For free and with no further action required on your side. Amazing, isn’t it? Ecosia allows you to convert your web searches into trees, as it is a search engine like any other, but, differently from others, it uses all profits to plant trees where they are needed most. And this brings great benefits not only to the global environment, but also to people and local economies.
If you are looking forward to starting using it and planting your first tree (or your first 25, by booking a hotel), check it below. Otherwise, take some minutes to know more about the amazing idea behind this project and how it is making a huge difference right now.
A green (and transparent) social business
Ecosia was founded by Christian Kroll, Ecosia’s CEO, in December 2009 and it is a social business (a B corporation) currently based in Berlin.
Christian traveled the world to find inspiration about business models with a positive social impact. After trying to establish a local search engine in Nepal to support local NGOs and learning about reforestation projects in Argentina, he realized how important planting new trees could be to neutralize CO2 emissions on a big scale. And why not to create a search engine that can finance planting activities? This is how the core idea for Ecosia was conceived.
The social business is currently offering a privacy-friendly search engine, with a special focus on sustainability and transparency.
In 2018 it started building its own solar plant, so to power all searched with 100% clean energy. But as the team claims, ‘being CO2 neutral is good; being CO2 negative is better’. So in 2019, they started producing twice the energy Ecosia needs to run searches, so to ‘crowd out’ dirty energy from the electricity grid adding solar one. And by planting trees, which as we know are natural carbon-capturing agents, Ecosia is even helping to clean up the atmosphere. Could we ask for more?
On top of this, Ecosia is publishing monthly financial reports and tree-planting receipts. At a glance, you could see that, for instance, in June 2019 Ecosia’s total income was around 1.5 million Euros (their best financial month ever by the way), almost half of which was used to plant trees. No dividends are paid to owners, and all profits that are not used for tree-planting activities are re-invested.
At the time of writing, active users of the search engine are over 7 million and Ecosia has invested around 9 million euros to plant more than 63 million trees worldwide, especially in regions where they are needed more.
Recent projects include reforestation operations run in Africa, Central and South America, and South-East Asia. These projects slightly vary one from the other, as they are not just about reforestation and biodiversity conservation, but they are often aimed at attaining social, educational and agricultural goals too.
For example, in Uganda trees are planted along rivers, so to increase the water supply of the region. In Indonesia 10 productive trees species were planted in particular, so to benefit local farmers directly. And in Kenya Ecosia’s partner works with primary schools and local communities to manage tree nurseries and find planting sites.
How to support
- The first thing you can do to support Ecosia is to use it. Ecosia comes as a free browser extension for, say, Firefox, Chrome or Edge. On mobile Ecosia is available as a free app. Haven’t you downloaded it yet?!
- Once Ecosia is installed, use it also to plan your next holiday! With the commission Ecosia earns from its booking partner, 25 trees will be planted (on average)
- Do you need a new T-Shirt? Why not buy one from Ecosia? 20 trees are planted for every T-shirt that is sold
- If you are a company interested in advertising on Ecosia, you can check this page
- Ecosia is currently hiring, mainly for technical positions in Berlin.
- Do you want to volunteer at one of Ecosia’s reforestation projects? Well, you can’t 🙂 As they state, ‘currently we don’t accept tree-planting volunteers. The idea behind our tree-planting projects is to support local communities by employing them and paying them for their work’
- You can follow Ecosia on
- Convert your school, university, company or organisation to Ecosia! Some suggestions here
- You can support Ecosia even by simply sharing this article on your favorite social networks. Spread the word!