Search Engines and Earth Care

by Katharine Hayhoe

Small individual actions, even something as seemingly insignificant as the search engine you choose online, can have a global impact… if enough people do them.
That’s exactly the premise of a company called Ecosia. For the last 15 years, Ecosia has provided a search engine that uses the ad revenue it generates from your searches to plant trees where they’re most needed, from Thailand to France. They have other climate projects too: from building roof-top solar in Germany to providing seed investments to regenerative agriculture entrepreneurs.
Ecosia estimates it takes around 45 searches to pay to plant one tree. By January 2024, Christian Kroll, Ecosia’s CEO, announced that the company has planted 200 million trees in over 30 countries. Recently, they’ve expanded their offerings to include a train travel search engine; a tag on banks that invest in fossil fuels; and a “green” AI chatbot.
Starting just last week, Chrome and Safari users in the EU are now asked if they want to choose to use Ecosia as their primary search engine. With an estimated 750 million internet users in the EU conducting 3 to 4 searches per day, I calculate this has the potential to fund over 60 million new trees per year!

You don’t have to be in the EU to use Ecosia. It’s available everywhere around the world, including China, where according to Quertime Ecosia has “gained popularity due to its environmentally conscious approach.” So why not make the switch today, and amplify the impact of your action by inviting everyone else you know to join you?

For more articles from Climate Scientist Katharine Kayhoe, visit her website and subscribe to her newsletter at