The Climate Column: Ecosia

Soren Winikoff, Staff Writer

We live in the age of the internet. Search engines help us with driving directions, reading the news, and provide us with endless entertainment. But every time we search on Google, Bing, or other popular search engines, we are actively supporting the very corporations we blame for the bulk of our carbon emissions. But we don’t have to stop using the internet, we just need to make a simple switch so we can start sequestering carbon with every search. 

In 2009, a new start up called Ecosia entered the scene of internet browsing. Ecosia was founded by Christian Kroll, a German entrepreneur, with the mission of planting trees with the revenue from Ecosia’s search engine. As of today, Ecosia has planted over 160 million trees in 35+ countries. So how does this work? 

Search engines get money by displaying paid advertisements. Certain websites pay to have their links show up at the top of the screen. Every time you click on one of these ads, the search engine (such as Google, Bing, or Ecosia) gets money. Ecosia uses this money to finance tree planting operations across the globe.  

100% of Ecosia’s profits go towards planting trees. Ecosia partners with local communities and organizations to revive areas that have been deforested or ruined by natural disasters. They make sure that they plant a variety of native trees to support healthy ecosystems. Once the trees are planted, they monitor them for several years afterwards to make sure the trees and the ecosystem survive. By involving the local partners, they bring jobs to the community and help restore the land.  

To get a sense of your impact, you plant 1 tree every 45 searches on average. Ecosia also posts updates on their operations so you can see the progress. They are fully transparent about their finances and publish a financial report every month. Furthermore, to power the company, they generate all their power plus some through solar panels.  

 Ecosia is also a very safe browser. It doesn’t store your searches for more than 7 days or sell your data to 3rd parties, and it only collects your data to survey how to improve the web browser. 

 No solution is perfect. Ecosia searches are powered by Microsoft Bing, which isn’t carbon neutral, but Ecosia greatly offsets Bing’s emissions. 

 How do you get Ecosia? 

 Take Action: 

  1. Download Ecosia!  

To do this on a mobile device or iPad just download the app from the Appstore. To get Ecosia on a computer, you must add it to Safari, Google, or whatever search browser you use in your computer settings. To get more information and step by step instructions, go to this link: 

To learn more about what Ecosia is doing, check out their blog at 

We don’t always have to make a drastic change to be more sustainable. This is a great example of how our small individual actions can collectively have a big impact on the fight for climate justice.