The internet and advertising
Whether it’s to find information, connect to friends and family, or just look up pictures of french bulldogs, we use the Internet all day, every day. Consequentially, web browsers have a powerful impact on us with the content they allow from advertisers. However, the browsers themselves are affected by these advertisements. As reported by Statista, Google’s overall ad-revenue from 2001 to 2017 was a whopping 110.9 billion US dollars. As you can see, companies pay web browsers top dollar so their links will show up first in searches.
Now, think of the impact that kind of money can have on our world. Not too long ago, this very same thought occurred to a man named Christian Kroll. After taking a worldwide trip, Kroll witnessed the damages of deforestation. Subsequently, he decided to act on it, and in 2009, Christian Kroll launched Ecosia.org. Ecosia is a web-browser that uses its ad-revenue earnings from user searches to plant trees around the world.
Image from video on Ecosia Facebook: “Trees not profits: why we’ll never sell Ecosia”
According to the site, Escosia has planted over 40 million trees, a number that grows daily. Most notably, though, the locations of these trees span the globe, from Nicaragua to Tanzania, to Indonesia.
As a result of Ecosia’s efforts, worldwide communities blossom with the planting of trees. For instance, these trees fight global warming by using CO2, hence reducing the amount of CO2 in the air. Economically, planting trees also boost local economies. As an example, local farmers can use trees as a crop, like orange trees and mangoes trees. In addition, Ecosia takes part in the Green Belt Movement in Kenya. Started by Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai, this initiative acts to uphold biodiversity through planting trees. Furthermore, Ecosia states that they rely on solar energy to run their Internet services, thus reducing CO2 emissions.
To start using Ecosia, follow these steps:
- Go to Ecosia.org on any web browser, and click the button that says “Add Ecosia to [your browser or device type].” Or, use one of these direct links: for Google Chrome (note: when downloaded, it acts as an extension to Google Chrome), Microsoft, and for mobile and tablet, Google Play, and iTunes.
- Click the button that says Download
- For Google Chrome, allow it as a web-extension service
- For all other browsers, set to it your default search engine in your settings. On iPhone and iPad, use the Ecosia app directly for search and web browsing.
And voila! Now, you can now participate in the planting of trees around the world. If you want to contribute more, you can visit the online store. They manufacture their merchandise with organic material, in factories powered by renewable energy. All of the proceeds go to one of their many deforestations projects.
Bendito sitting with newly planted trees, Brazil. Picture accredited to Fatima, a content creator at Ecoasia.org.
What makes Ecosia unique
Perhaps one of the most refreshing aspects of this company is their respect for their users. Not only do they publish their financial reports monthly to showcase where all of this money is going, but they also privatize users’ searches, therefore all information is anonymous. In contrast with Facebook failing to protect users’ information, companies like this give consumers confidence. In short, Ecosia.org is an environmentally-friendly and user-friendly search engine. Above all, websites like these offer hope that we are taking the necessary steps, and clicks, to make the world a little greener.
Featured image is a screenshot of Ecosia.org
© Emeraldology 2018