Planting trees is easier than ever — just use Ecosia

One of the frequent laments of those who aspire to be environmentally conscious is that they have no idea what to do first. Sometimes, they feel as if it must be high profile to make a difference. For example, recycling, composting, limiting personal waste, biking, and organizing to pressure politicians on strong environmental regulation are all possible. However, one search engine, Ecosia, takes on that hard work for you.


The company’s philosophy is simple: Use the search engine, plant a tree. On the website’s front page, there is a constantly increasing ticker enumerating the trees Ecosia has planted. At the time of publication, that number was around 56 million.


And lest consumers be wary, Ecosia’s model is not random. The company has a strategy for where they place trees. The company touts their successes through testimonials.


“‘We plant native acacia trees, because they make the soil more fertile. With our earnings we started a communal savings account for women to borrow and start their own businesses.’ Sara, 42, Mechisho, Ethiopia”

The more people that use Ecosia to search the internet for recipes, movies, or the latest news, the more profits it receives. And the company uses those profits to invigorate local economies and of course, to plant trees.


Compared to the cutthroat secrecy of Silicon Valley, Ecosia views themselves as a different kind of company. On their website, they claim to offer full transparency, publishing monthly reports to allow users to keep track of how their profits are spent. They also claim to run their servers on 100% renewable energy and affirm the privacy of their users by vowing not to sell their information to third parties.


According to Ecologist, the website first launch in 2009 and has subsequently planted trees in over 15 countries, including Indonesia, Senegal, and Madagascar.


Despite the fact that it was originally based in Germany, Ecosia has exploded to more than 60 universities worldwide. Students around the world are proud to participate in environmental action, including promoting a seriously easy way to plant trees.


If you’re using Google Chrome, it barely takes a second to add the extension to your browser. Taking care of the environment couldn’t be easier.


Feature image provided via Flickr by Alex Indigo


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Timothy Hucks

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