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Ecosia, the Tree-saving Web Search Engine

Born in 2009 from an idea of Christian Kroll, Ecosia is a CO2-neutral web search engine based in Berlin, Germany, which donates 80% of its surplus income to a tree planting program in Brazil. Ecosia is also raising funds for forestation in Burkina Faso, as part of the Great Green Wali project backed by the African Union and the World Bank, which aims to prevent desertification.

Powered by Bing and Yahoo, Ecosia shows ads together with the search results. By clicking on these ads Ecosia receives an income, of which 80% is donated to the tree planting-projects. So far, Ecosia has donated more than §4.5 million to the environment, planting more than 2.5 million trees. Their goal is to plant 1 billion trees by 2020.

As any other search engine, Ecosia results consist of (Eco)ads and (Eco)links. By clicking on the ads, Ecosia is paid for having delivered the user to the advertiser’s site, and by clicking on the links, the user is taken to the desired item in the e-commerce partner’s shop. Every time a user purchases something at one of these shops through the Ecosia link, Ecosia is paid a commission.

Planting forests doesn’t only solve environmental issues. For example, deserts can be turned back into fertile woods, which feed local communities, improving their health and creating jobs which could consequently strengthen the economy and stabilize political situations.

The great thing about Ecosia is that all you need to do is to make it your default search engine. Then, start searching and looking for what you need, but with the awareness that now you’re making a difference.

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