It’s such a simple yet ingenious idea, it seems incredible that no one has thought of it before… but thank goodness someone has! That particular someone is Christian Kroll, founder and CEO of Ecosia, the eco-search engine dedicated to saving the planet one tree at a time.
Quite simply, Ecosia is a free search engine that uses 80% of the profits made from its advertisements to fund an ambitious tree planting program in Burkina Faso, an otherwise arid country in west Africa. Unlike other search engines who pocket the profit entire, Ecosia has one altruistic, environmental goal in mind. Your aid in reforesting Burkina Faso is one mouse click away…
The initiative sprung from the unflinching drought that has been the trial of Burkina Faso and its people for over 50 years, claiming hundreds of thousands of lives and livelihoods. Now, with the help of expert tree-planters WeForest and Entrepreneurs without Borders, Ecosia is helping to reforest the land, thus bringing ‘water, plants and animals back into the region for generations to come’.
As their website states, Ecosia employees hope that:
‘Mature trees will have the power to restart the water cycle in the region. Forests bring clouds and water – and plants and animals follow closely behind. A greener Sahel would see fewer human health problems and, in many cases, less violent conflict over scarce resources.’
‘Ecosia In Numbers’
We currently have 2,485,024 active users.
Our users do about 720,044 searches per day.
We earn about 0.5 cents per search through ads.
It costs 28 cents (EUR) to plant one tree in Burkina Faso.
We currently plant one new tree every 16 seconds.
In total we’ve already planted 2,898,217 trees.
Pretty impressive stuff. ‘But how do we know they’re really doing all this?’, the Sceptic might ask. Well, because all of their stats are fully available online in a public Dropbox to check up on their donations.
If that wasn’t enough, Ecosia actually lets you track on your home page exactly how many trees your searches have helped to plant. For example, my searches have already amounted to 52 trees, and I’ve only been using it a few days!
Ecosia has been welcomed enthusiastically by the media, with The Guardian stating:
‘A new breed of internet startup is taking on the big guns of the tech world’.
And good for them! My question is: why aren’t more people doing this?
Ecosia itself is such a small company and yet they are doing such great things. Their micro-team of 9 operate out of their close-knit offices in Berlin, Germany, and guess what..they’re hiring!! So for all you techies, tree-lovers and pure humanitarians out there, get in touch! This might be for you!
Thank you Ecosia for having a bloody brilliant idea and for having the balls to pull it off!