Free and ecologically friendly search engine alternative
Ecosia is a popular search engine add-on to browsers such as Chrome, Firefox and Safari due to the fact that its revenue generation is used to plant trees around the planet. It is estimated that up to one kilogram of carbon dioxide is removed from the atmosphere with every search; helping to combat climate change.
The main principle behind Ecosia
The essential goal of Ecosia is to make the world a greener place. Unlike some other major organisations, profit is not as important as providing environmentally friendly solutions. It is important to mention that this is a steward-owned search engine. In other words, owners and shareholders are not able to reap any personal profits from its operation. Millions of trees have already been planted as a result of this search engine and while these contribute to the health of the planet, they also help to support struggling local economies. A tree is planted for approximately every 45 searches once its add-ons and tools have been integrated into an existing browser such as Google Chrome, Firefox or Safari.
Interface and functionality
One of the main benefits associated with this application is that it only requires 85.42 kilobytes of existing memory. It will therefore not negatively impact normal browser functions. It can be installed for free and users can choose from seven different languages. The search interface itself is quite similar to other major portals such as Chrome and Bing (Ecosia is based off of the Bing platform). All results are displayed in a drop-down format; the most relevant hits located at the top. It likewise includes common categories such as images, news, videos, and maps. Results can be filtered in regards to date and users can choose to make Ecosia their default engine by clicking the menu icon located at the top right-hand side of the SERP screen. Thus, the entire interface has retained an innate sense of familiarity. It is also important to mention that unlike major hubs, previous searches are not permanently stored. This enhances its unique sense of privacy and helps to deliver more impartial results. Personal data is never sold to third-party advertising firms and all searches are secured by end-to-end SSL encryption.
A greener sense of responsibility
Ecosia has planted more than 70 million trees thanks to its unique approach and this number should only increase into the foreseeable future. Not only does this search engine mirror the functionality of familiar portals, but it publishes monthly financial reports so that users can see the real-world results of their searches. The altruistic nature of Ecosia also contributes to other positive changes such as providing potable drinking water to remote communities and protecting endangered species. While the technical attributes of this unique application are impressive, its impact on the global environment has been just as profound.