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Ecosia: A Few Clicks for a Better Future
09. May 2020 at 20:37
by Swetha Tandri
The internet is regarded as one of the best innovations of modern society, providing an endless supply of information. But our supposedly harmless Googling actually releases as much carbon dioxide as the entire aviation industry, poisoning the air we breathe. What if there was a way to reap the positives of the internet while simultaneously replenishing our atmosphere? Step aside, Google. Ecosia is now our best bet.

What do educational tools, news coverage, and entertainment all have in common? All can be accessed through Google. Founded just 20 years ago, Google is now an endless hub of resources at our fingertips. Need the nearest coffee shop? Use Google Maps. Need the time and weather? Call out to the Google Home App. Need to access helpful tutorials? Visit Google’s own YouTube. Boasting more than 63,000 searches per second per day, Google is a symbol of our interconnected world. 

Googling has become an extension of our minds: the average American spends 24 hours per week, accessing the internet through a smartphone, using Google Apps with ease like an extra limb. What if we the consumers could use our fundamental act of browsing to tackle crucial climate problems and make headway in achieving a sustainable world? The startup browser Ecosia, with the potential to rival tech giant Google, has a viable answer. 

Ecosia uses 80% of its ad revenue to plant trees (89 million so far) in areas with critical biodiversity and mobilize communities that would experience the worst effects of the global climate crisis. In fact, according to research conducted by the Green Stars Project, carbon in our atmosphere can be reduced by 15% after just one year if we all switch to Ecosia NOW. However, Google is so predominant that it owns 200+ businesses and 80% of desktop market shares. “Googling” literally has a spot in the English dictionary. Why on Earth would even the most conscious users leave a familiar “extension of their minds” for something that seems new and uncertain?

Ecosia actually has many aspects already on par with Google, like an aesthetically pleasing interface and easy navigation. It excels in quick unit conversions and relevant results for most queries. In regards to services, Ecosia contains all Google applications (YouTube, Google Maps, Mail, and Drive). Its travel service—Ecosia Travel—not only matches consumers to hotel prices almost on par with those of Google’s equivalent but also commits to planting 25 trees per booking!

In fact, Ecosia handles advertisements and consumer privacy with more competence. Google tends to overload pages with paid ads, irritating users, whereas Ecosia has an even distribution of free and paid ads. Giving paramount importance to user privacy and experience, Ecosia does NOT give out information to third parties and contains the option to enable or disable personalized search results. 

Ultimately, Ecosia stands out due to its dedication to sustainability: it is significantly more energy efficient. While Google is carbon neutral, Ecosia is carbon negative, running on 100% renewable energy. While Google merely delivers news of environmental action, Ecosia goes the extra mile by highlighting which websites are eco-friendly and which ones are not. 

Ecosia, most importantly, proves its legitimacy and ethical intentions through its transparent monthly spending reports, revealing total revenue, tree count, and total expenditures on every project. Ecosia’s video series zooms in on ambassadors and their hands-on collaborations with restoring ecosystems. 

Although browsing the internet is a core aspect of our lives, many underestimate its potential to make everlasting change. Most of us utilize Google primarily for its convenience, without deliberately taking into account any alternatives that aim to provide what we need and much more. Ecosia, though currently smaller than Google, has a distinct impact that will only grow if a loyal base supports it. Let us channel an intrinsic part of ourselves into a better world. All it takes is one crucial partnership through a simple download and a few clicks.

Cite This Article As: Swetha Tandri. "Ecosia: A Few Clicks for a Better Future." International Youth Journal, 09. May 2020.

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