This search engine helps you save the Earth, one query at a time

For people who frequent the internet (AKA probably 99.9% of our readers right here), pesky ads are the bane of one’s existence. But what if you could turn your clicks into something more productive? Something that could even help save the environment? That is exactly what Berlin-based startup Ecosia wants to do. The best part is that this environmental-saving move requires little to no effort, because it’s something you already do on the daily.

In the one minute you took to read that first paragraph, over 40,000 searches have been made on Google around the world. With that, the Ecosia search-engine aims to transform users’ perennial curiosity for the better. The process is simple: for every 45 queries you make, Ecosia responds by planting a tree.

Using revenue from search ads, their engine funds reforestation projects globally —from Brazil and Ethiopia, to Madagascar and Indonesia. The company aims to facilitate the planting of 1 billion trees by 2020. Sounds too ambitious? A quick visit to their website will show a real-time tracker for number of trees planted. Right now, the digits are climbing nearly 24,000,000. Besides their commitment to environmental relief efforts, Ecosia also boasts a dedication to transparency. Comprehensive financial reports, a thorough privacy policy, and credible “planting officers” are all up online for anyone’s perusal. So just in case you were wondering, yes, they’re pretty legit.

Head over to Ecosia and make them your default browser. It’s a small change to our lifestyles with potentially big results. 45 searches is like, what? 20 memes, ten dog videos, and fifteen times you aimlessly opened Twitter. Just imagine, as your meme database grows, so does a rainforest. Technology isn’t always so bad after all.

While you’re at it, check out other ways you can give more of a shit and live a more sustainable lifestyle.

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