Could Ecosia Be the World's Greenest Search Engine? (Video)

ecosia web browser image

Screenshot via Ecosia

There are gads of green search engines - Green Maven, EcoSearch, Good Tree, Truevert, Ecocho... - and they all have their special qualities that make them eco-friendly. Some focus on bringing up green content in your search, some focus on offsetting carbon emissions with searches, and still others focus on working with environmental organizations. Ecosia is the newest to hit the scene, and they claim to be "the world's greenest search engine." But just what makes them so?According to BusinessGreen, Ecosia's special green edge is that it promises to donate 80% of all the proceeds made on searches to WWF's rainforest protection projects in Brazil's Amazonas region. Their angle is that by using Ecosia as your search engine, you're actively participating in preserving rainforests and therefore keeping our planet cooler and protecting vital biodiversity. You can also track how much rainforest you've "saved" by searching after Ecosia is installed as your default search engine.

"Thanks to sponsored links, search engines earn billions every year," said Christian Kroll, founder of the Berlin-based firm. "Ecosia believes that there is a more eco-friendly way of using these huge profits and that the money should better be used to fight global warming."

A spokesman for WWF said, "An average internet user can protect about 2,000 square metres of rainforest every year by using Ecosia - this is about the size of an ice hockey field. If only 1 per cent of global internet users accessed Ecosia for their web searches, we could save a rainforest area as big as Switzerland each year."

That's questionable, since so many factors go into it, including which projects are funded and how successful they are. Saving the rainforests is a lot more complicated than just having people sitting at their computer clicking away - we're also dependent on the people on the ground who are doing the actual work of saving the rainforests. But getting them necessary funding is certainly part of the process and every little bit - every little click - helps. With Ecosia working with WWF, at least users know that it's a legit organization dealing with the funds. Plus, it's backed by Yahoo and Bing, so the results turned up for your search are of a decent quality. The site has a detailed FAQ that addresses a lot of the issues that pop to mind.

The site states that so far they've saved 24,406 square yards of rainforest so far with 8,884 incoming searches, most of which were generated yesterday after their debut. Not too bad considering they're brand new. It might not make them the world's greenest, as they tout, but it certainly makes them green.

(PS: About that Google search energy use stat mentioned at the beginning of the video, you might have said, "wait..what?" That whole issue got plenty of coverage awhile back - Read this for some context and legit info.)

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