One search does not equal one tree. The funds generated by Ecosia Search Engine help to plant about one tree every 30 seconds. When you do a search with Ecosia, it displays a personalized tree counter, which shows you how many trees you have already helped plant.
Rather than showing you how many trees you have planted all on your own, the counter shows you how many times you have contributed to the planting of a new tree based on the current cost of each tree.
Ecosia’s search results and the search ads shown next to the results are powered by Microsoft Bing. Bing’s search technology is used, enhanced with Ecosia own algorithms. Bing is Microsoft’s own search and it was launched in June 2009, so just a few months before Ecosia was founded. Bing is the second largest search engine in the US, after Google.
Is Bing CO2-neutral?
Microsoft has made a commitment to make their operations carbon-neutral, which also includes their search engine Bing. Read more about Microsoft’s efforts concerning environmental sustainability under Microsoft Environment.
Ecosia? And Why Trees?
Trees are nature’s high-impact home remedy. These are just a few of the benefits:
- Cool climate: Trees absorb CO2, which is one of the main drivers of climate change. Larger forests can even create clouds, which then reflect the sunlight and cool our planet.
- Biodiversity: Forests are the most diverse systems on land with millions of species out of which many have not even been discovered and analyzed yet.
- Soil protection: Trees protect the soil from erosion and they create productive and fertile land. If you cut down trees, you will very soon end up with a desert.
- Clean air: Trees create oxygen, which we need to breathe. They also clean the air by absorbing pollutant gases and filtering out particulates.
- Happy people: Forests provide us with healthy food and lots of other products, which can be sustainably harvested. Worldwide the livelihood of 1.6 billion people depends on forests.
- Water security: Forests regulate the watercycles and prevent floods. They create moisturous microclimates and increase groundwater levels. They act like a “sponge” and therefore prevent droughts.
Ecosia knows that trust has to be earned. That is why they publish their monthly financial reports and tree planting receipts. This way you can keep them accountable as they follow their journey to a reforested world.
Search and data privacy?
One of Ecosia’s goals is to be a privacy friendly engine. They believe that an individual’s personal data, including their search queries, are their own business and no one else’s. But the policies of Ecosia’s independent partners may differ from their own, which limits their ability to make promises regarding privacy. Ecosia does not permanently store any personally identifiable data but they are still required to send some personal data (e.g. parts of your IP address or browser type) to their search partner Bing, who may analyze this data. Regardless, Ecosia promises to continue improving its privacy situation whenever and wherever possible.