Have you heard of Ecosia?

Imagine an organisation that is solely dedicated to donating 80% of its profits to planting trees. What if we told you that you could support without having to donate a cent, and better yet by simply downloading the app? If you are an advocate fan of trees or a lover of the environment, then you will love this! After all, Ecosia seems to be the new trend for tree lovers and conversationalists.

Ecosia is a search engine that was developed in Berlin, Germany, that donates a minimum of 80% of its profits to non-profit organizations that focus on reforestation and planting trees where they are needed most. Ecosia considers itself a social business that is CO2-negative and claims to support full financial transparency and protection of the privacy of its users. It is also ‘B Lab-certified’. B Lab is an organization that indicates whether certified organizations such as Ecosia voluntarily meet certain standards of transparency, accountability, sustainability, and performance with an aim to create value for society, not just for traditional stakeholders such as the shareholders. Ecosia publishes monthly financial reports stating exactly how much money they have made from your searches, and what percentage of our revenue went towards trees.

Image by www.ecosia.com

It might seem too good to be true that whenever you search the web someone plants a tree. So how exactly does it work? Ecosia generates revenue by selling Ad space in their search engine, they then use that money to support non-profit organizations or what they call ‘local partners’ that are dedicated to planting trees primarily in the Southern Hemisphere. Ecosia shows advertisements next to its search results and is paid by partners every time a user clicks on a sponsored link. The trees are planted where they’re needed most such as Burkina Faso where the desert is becoming fertile again. The trees benefit people, the environment, and local economies.

Image by www.ecosia.com

Ecosia uses 80% of its profits (47.1% of its income) from advertising revenue to support tree-planting projects. It doesn’t pay out any dividends to its owners. All profits stay within the company and will eventually either be invested or used for tree planting. The revenue generated from these Ads is used to cover four expenses which are operating expenses, marketing, reinvestment and of course tree planting. Ecosia has now planted over 50 million trees. They are planting a new tree every second across 21 reforestation projects across the planet. This means they have removed approximately 2.5 million tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere, restored 60,000 hectares and planted over 500 native tree species. 

If you are concerned about conserving nature and deforestation or even your privacy, Ecosia seems to be the environmental and ethical alternative. Unlike other search engines, searches on Ecosia are encrypted and not stored permanently. It is committed to being a privacy-friendly search engine and states in its privacy policy that it does not create personal profiles based on search history. Your data is not sold to third-party advertisers. Ecosia is free and is currently available as a web browser or mobile app on Android and iOS devices, as well as on PCs and Macs. If that’s not convincing enough to you, then we don’t know what it is.

 

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