Style Living Self Celebrity Geeky News and Views
In the Paper BrandedUp Hello! Create with us Privacy Policy

This search engine converts your online searches into trees across the world

By JUSTINE PUNZALAN Published Dec 08, 2020 7:29 am

Have you ever spent a day without searching for anything on the internet? We are guessing that your answer would be no. Online search engines have become our go-to source for practically everything. From simple how-to’s to relationship advice and COVID-19 vaccines, these huge virtual clouds have all sorts of data, far more than we could imagine.

And just when you thought there’s nothing extraordinary about searching for info on the internet, now a website gives you the chance to do good to Mother Earth simply with your online searches. The site is called Ecoasia, a non-profit enterprise that plants trees for all the searches that you do on its website. was founded by Christian Kroll, a social entrepreneur from Berlin, Germany, back in 2009. He developed it after a trip around the world helped him understand the problems of deforestation.

Ecosia’s search results and search ads are powered by Microsoft Bing, the second largest search engine in the US, next to Google. The website utilizes Bing’s search technology boosted with Ecosia’s own algorithms.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Ecosia (@ecosia)

How does it work?

To start planting a tree, you must make at least 45 searches on Ecosia’s website. 

At the same time, the non-profit organization gathers funds from advertisers that park ads on its pages. The organization uses at least 80% of its monthly profits to plant trees in over 9,000 sites in Burkina Faso, Madagascar, Peru, Indonesia, Morocco, Brazil, Nicaragua, Ethiopia, Tanzania, and many other countries.

While they have no guarantee that you will click these ads, Ecosia says, “You still contribute to the movement by increasing the number of Ecosia users. The more monthly active users Ecosia has, the more relevant it becomes to advertisers.”

If you’re in two minds about giving it a try, Ecosia assures you that the site is legit. They publish monthly financial reports that indicate how much money they made from its users’ searches and what percentage went to its advocacy.

According to their October 2020 report, the institution has earned an income of 1.6 millioin euros (or about P93 million) in one month, and nearly 90% was spent on planting trees. In 2019, the website gained over 15 million users and planted 60 million trees worldwide.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Ecosia (@ecosia)

In addition, privacy concerns have been addressed because Ecosia does not “store your searches permanently” or share them with third-party agencies.

“We only allow connections to our search engine over a secured SSL/HTTPS connection. This way, no one between you and Ecosia can secretly listen in on your searches. We use DigiCert, one of the largest and most trusted SSL certificate authorities, to generate and manage our SSL certificates,” Ecosia said.

The only data that they acquire from its users are those essential in understanding “how people use our services, and to monitor, troubleshoot, and improve Ecosia.” 

“We also save the searches we receive to filter spam,” the organization added.

Ecosia promises to remove all these personal information (like the IP address) from their search data after seven days. The organization explained, “This way we make 100% sure that we have no way of knowing who searched for what and also no way of connecting different searches to each other or creating any kind of profiles.”

Check out the website here

Photos from Ecosia on Instagram.