The online ecosystem continues to expand rapidly, but that rapid growth has come at a cost to the planet. If you’re committed to living an eco-friendly lifestyle yourself, why not take measures to offset the carbon footprint left by your online activities?
Using a search engine that actively strives toward eco-friendly practices makes it possible for you to contribute to preserving the planet. Let us take a look at some popular eco-friendly search engines out there.
1. Ecosia: Plant Trees for a Greener World
Ecosia is a popular search engine that connects user activities with reforestation, CO2 reduction, and climate change projects. It donates at least 80% of its income from search queries to non-profit organizations dedicated to reforestation and climate action.
When it comes to user experience, you can mostly expect the same standard features you’d like in a modern search engine—filters like images, video search, maps, auto suggestions, all in an intuitive and easy-to-use interface. It also offers integrations with Wikipedia, Amazon, and other services. The search results are powered by Microsoft Bing’s algorithm.
When you visit the site, you’ll notice a green tree icon in the right-hand corner, indicating the number of search queries. Ecosia claims that you can plant a tree for every 45 searches. Not only does Ecosia help you search the Internet, but it also helps you make smarter and more sustainable choices by placing a “green leaf” icon alongside the websites of eco-friendly organizations.
You can use Ecosia with major browsers and download their browser plug-ins for Chrome, Safari, and Mozilla. As far as privacy goes, the company ensures user activity is protected by encrypting search data and discarding it after a week.
Download: Ecosia for Android | iOS | Web (Free)
2. Ocean Hero: Save the Oceans
We all know that plastic waste can pollute our oceans. OceanHero is an innovative social business that blends sustainable recycling, social entrepreneurship, and ocean conservation initiatives together.
By partnering with specialized groups across the globe, Ocean Hero helps in the collection of recyclable ocean plastic with a worldwide network of organizations and local partners who collect, re-purpose, and recycle plastic debris from the ocean, thus keeping them out of landfills. Such initiatives also serve as an effective mechanism for raising awareness, motivating action, and generating opportunities for employment in coastal communities.
When you search with Ocean Hero, you’ll be making an immediate impact on the health of our oceans and our global communities. Their search engine is powered by Microsoft Bing. You can turn on the “Ocean mode” to choose among a variety of marine-themed homepage backgrounds and also choose from several customization options.
Every time you open a new tab, search the web, or answer a few quick questions, you will earn digital “shells”. For every 100 shells collected (or five search queries), they claim to recover one ocean-bound plastic bottle.
Ocean Hero is compatible with popular browsers as well. You can install and use OceanHero via browser add-ons for Chrome, Mozilla, and Safari. It does not track users’ search history. The company uses the revenue generated from non-invasive ads to finance marine cleanups from oceans located across Southeast Asia and other areas across the globe.
Download: Ocean Hero for Android | iOS | Web (Free)
3. Ekoru: Contribute to Reforestation and Marine Cleanup
Since the advent of plastics, pollutants have been pouring into our marine ecosystems and have contributed to an increase in carbon dioxide levels. Thankfully, Ekoru comes along as an alternative search engine that aims to help save our oceans by addressing two key problems, plastic pollution, and CO2 levels.
Ekoru, a search engine powered by hydroelectricity, gives you the option to clean plastic from the ocean with every search. It has partnered with non-profit organizations to help clean and protect the world’s oceans, as well as reforest them by replanting seagrass meadows that are critical for generating oxygen and trapping carbon dioxide.
The organization claims to channel 60% of its ad revenue into supporting partners who are actively involved in tackling the issue of ocean pollution and reforestation. Ekoru is working in conjunction with the Big Blue Ocean Cleanup mission to remove plastic and Operation Posidonia to reforest oceans, by replanting seagrass.
The search page is easy to use and has some really handy options. You can toggle on different color modes depending on your preference, turn on safe search, and even see your carbon footprint impact for every search result. As a privacy-focused search engine, it guarantees the anonymity of your online activity by encrypting your traffic to the site and doesn’t save any user data or your personal search information.
Ekoru supports multiple browsers with extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Edge and is also available for mobile devices. Ekoru generates revenue every time a sponsored link is clicked in search results, which is then shared with its non-profit partners.
Download: Ekoru for Android | iOS | Web (Free)
4. Rapusia: Help the Planet
Rapusia, created by the Tennis World Foundation, is a new search engine that empowers you to support the causes you care about. With every search, you earn a heart, which represents a portion of the advertising revenue to be donated towards social and environmental efforts. You can donate these hearts to a project of your choosing, across various categories such as sports, animal welfare, and social and environmental causes.
Rapusia claims that 50% of the funds generated from ads and searches are currently being put to use towards supporting disadvantaged children, providing safe drinking water to communities, preserving biodiversity reserves, and protecting stray animals.
Rapusia ensures a safer browsing experience for you on the web without storing any data about your queries or passing personal information on to corporate advertisers. It is compatible with major browsers such as Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and Mozilla.
Download: Rapusia for Android | Web (Free)
5. Elliot For Water: Donate Safe Drinking Water With Every Search
This is a fairly simple eco-savvy search engine that focuses on helping people in developing nations gain access to clean water while supporting sustainability in the water supply.
Elliot For Water aims to provide clean drinking water to communities in developing countries and those in need without compromising the environment or cultural values. At least 60% of the revenues generated by search ads are donated to support solar energy-based technologies and products that purify water through desalination, irrigation, and dehydration techniques.
While it doesn’t offer any new features for dedicated fans of other search engines, it claims that every search helps to donate the equivalent of fourteen liters of pure drinking water.
Elliot For Water uses Microsoft Bing’s algorithms to draw up search results. You can also install their browser plugins available for Chrome and Mozilla.
Go Green With Your Online Search
Whether it’s recycling or buying eco-friendly products, most of us are now becoming aware of the negative aspects of our lifestyle on the environment, and trying to make amends for it.
If you’re serious about fighting climate change, why not use a green search engine? You can not only find the information you need, but also contribute passively towards reducing your carbon footprint.
Going green online is more like a movement. It’s a matter of taking a positive step. Try a green search engine today, so you can help create a more sustainable tomorrow!
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