A Search Engine Better Than Google

Everyday, billions of inquiries are searched using Google alone. Sure, these searches provide us with answers and provide income for large corporations. But what are they really doing for the greater good? A small company based out of Berlin created a search engine that won't only satisfy our curiosity and answer our questions, but will help the environment and remote communities around the world. Ecosia funds a reforestation project with every search, and has the goal of planting 1 billion trees by 2020.


How does it work?

The idea came to founder Christian Kroll as he traveled the world as a college student. He saw poverty and mass deforestation affecting communities across the world. In December of 2009, he launched a search engine that would make a positive impact on communities that needed it most. The company puts 80% of ad revenue directly towards its forestation projects that stretch from Peru to Madagascar. So far, Ecosia has planted nearly 35 million trees, which you can watch increase in real time on the tree counter on their website.

The company knows that trust has to be earned, and believes in complete transparency. They post monthly financial statements and “tree receipts”, that show how much money was made and what it was used for. They also show how much money was used to plant trees and where exactly they were planted across the globe. Not to mention, their privacy policy is clear and robust. Unlike other major search engines, Ecosia does not sell data to advertisers or have third party trackers.

Ecosia doesn’t only do good in remote areas, they promote healthy and environmental practices at their headquarters in Berlin, Germany. They are the first German company to receive a B-corp certification and have a carbon neutral office building.

What You Can Do

The best way to support both the environment and Ecosia, is to make the free search engine your default browser. Your search results won’t change, and you’re helping an amazing effort. To achieve their 1 billion tree goal, Ecosia will need to have 1 to 2 percent of the search market, and Kroll thinks its possible. “We are a small but devoted team that believes in the power of community, a community that if it grows big enough, can easily facilitate the planting of 1 billion trees,” Kroll says of the 18 person company.

You can help spread the word about Ecosia by following them on their social media, sharing this article, and by purchasing a stylish shirt from their brand new online shop, which launched on July 30th and plants 20 trees for every item sold.


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