Searching Our Way to Sustainability

By Swetha Tandri



The internet is a huge part of our day to day lives, so much so that all of our internet searches combined produce as much carbon dioxide as the entire aviation industry. Fortunately, Google is not the only answer. Read below to find out about 2 search engines that work efficiently AND help out the environment!


Ecosia


Ecosia is an environmentally friendly search engine created by Christian Kroll in 2009. A steward-owned company, Ecosia cannot gain profits through shares or other means. Instead, it funnels all its ad revenue towards its 20+ tree planting projects in 15 countries (Ex. Peru, Brazil, Madagascar) that have vital biodiversity with at least 1500 species of plants and animals.

Unlike Google which claims to be carbon-neutral, Ecosia takes the extra step by being carbon-negative because it plants trees and uses clean energy. Ecosia is also a safe browser. They don't store searches permanently, don’t make searches encrypted, and don't use external tracking tools. 45 searches are the average amount to plant a tree, and since its inception, Ecosia has reached 70 million trees planted by its users. With new features like Ecosia Travel (highlighting sustainable hotels) and the release of spending reports every month, more people are making the switch to Ecosia every day.


Ecosia Logofrom the Ecosia website


Ocean Hero


By 2050 there will be more plastic in the oceans than fish, according to the World Economic Forum. Ocean Hero is another viable option for giving back to the environment, except through plastic removal! Through their ad revenue, they funnel money into local initiatives in developing countries to help them clear out plastic waste in the oceans. In particular, their partnership with PlasticBank enables them to pay individuals to return plastic items. Their “about” section states that 5 searches on Ocean Hero gives them enough money to pay a collector for 1 plastic bottle.


As of March 2020, 943,127 bottles were collected through 4,715,635 searches. Plastic Bank takes these bottles and turns them into Social Plastic, which are used for packages and other products.

Why Solving the Plastic Crisis is Essential- from the Ocean Hero Website


How Can You Get Involved?


Ecosia can be downloaded on any device, as an application for mobile surfaces, or as an extension on browsers like Internet Explorer and Google Chrome. Ocean Hero can also be added as an extension to Chrome. Choose which browser is best for you; maybe even download both!


If a few clicks can sustain a better future, why pass up on the offer?



References

  1. Ecosia.org. 2020. Ecosia - The Search Engine That Plants Trees. [online] Available at: <https://www.ecosia.org/> [Accessed 16 May 2020].

  2. OceanHero - The search that saves the oceans. Oceanhero.today. (2020). Retrieved 16 May 2020, from https://oceanhero.today/.

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The Scientific Teen 2020.