The Search Engine That Plants Trees

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The Search Engine That Plants Trees

Ilona Soltys, Editor

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While aimlessly scrolling through Youtube videos the other day, my attention was seized by an ad that I received about a new search engine that was gaining popularity. The search engine is called Ecosia and it plants trees. Cue the “what?” and “how is that possible?” comments. Ecosia is a browser extension that you can download through Google Chrome and by using it, ad revenue for them is racked up. This ad revenue generates money for the company and the owners use it to plant trees. The trees are planted in environments that greatly need to be replenished with greenery. It might sound sketchy by Ecosia lives by the motto “trust must be earned.” In order to follow that saying, they offer their financial reports to the public from each year they were in business. Ecosia also claims that, unlike other search engines, they do not sell user data to advertisers and have no third party trackers.

The planting of trees has caused a positive chain reaction in many areas. In Ethiopia, the scarcity of the land was affecting the crops. With the profit from Ecosia, native Acacia trees have been planted which then increased the fertility of the soil. With the earnings from the selling of crops, a village in Ethiopia opened up a communal savings account for women to borrow and start their own businesses.

According to NASA, our average surface temperature has risen almost 2 degrees Fahrenheit since the late 19th century. Not only that, but our oceans are warming up too, by more than 0.4 degrees. There has been a massive increase in sea level risings (8 inches in the last century) and a massive decrease in ice sheets, “NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment show Greenland lost an average of 286 billion tons of ice per year between 1993 and 2016, while Antarctica lost about 127 billion tons of ice per year during the same time period.” These are clear pieces of evidence that show how climate change is affecting our planet. There is no “Planet B,” and Ecosia’s launch is taking a step in the right direction to make sure we protect the one we’re on right now.

To make a long story short, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be using Ecosia. It’s a simple download that leads to restoring the environment and retracting some of our carbon footprints. (Download the extension at www.Ecosia.org.)