Ecosia search engine fights climate change

Dec 04, 2009
An Ecosia search engine launching Monday is counting on the world's fascination with the Internet to help save Brazilian rainforests and battle global warming.

An Ecosia search engine launching Monday is counting on the world's fascination with the Internet to help save Brazilian rainforests and battle global warming.

A brain child of "green-minded friends" in Berlin, ecosia.org is powered by Bing and Yahoo! search technology but gives at least 80 percent of its revenue to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to protect rainforests.

Ecosia has timed its official launch for Monday to coincide with the start of world climate talks in Copenhagen.

"Ecosia will definitely be the world's greenest ," WWF said in a statement.

"Each search with Ecosia will protect a piece of rainforest, so by making Ecosia your search engine, you can actually help the environment one search at a time."

Ecosia is banking on the same online advertising tactics that have pumped a fortune into the coffers of Internet search king Google, with the funds benefiting nature instead of investors.

Advertisers typically pay search engines for each click on sponsored links appearing on results pages.

"Thanks to sponsored links, search engines earn billions every year," said Ecosia founder Christian Kroll.

"Ecosia believes that there is a more eco-friendly way of using these huge profits and that the money should better be used to fight global warming."

The WWF estimated that over the course of a year, a typical Internet user relying on Ecosia for search queries could protect a patch of rainforest about the size of an ice hockey rink, or 2,000 square meters (21,530 square feet).

A rainforest expanse the size of Switzerland could be saved annually with money generated by one percent of the world's Internet users switching to Ecosia, according to the WWF.

More than half the world's rainforests have been destroyed in the past 50 years and the amount of rainforest burned or cut down each year is greater than the size of England, according to Ecosia.

generates climate changing carbon dioxide while eliminating precious wildlife habitat along with trees that produce life-sustaining oxygen.

Ecosia said it is following through on its green theme by relying on data centers that run on electricity from alternative sources that do not spew heat-trapping gases.

It will be taking on powerhouse Google, a search engine so popular that the California company's name is used as a verb to refer to searching the Internet.

Unlike and other search engines, Ecosia promises to dump all records of users' activities after 48 hours and not mine the data for marketing purposes.

(c) 2009 AFP

Explore further: Local media have positive slant toward local businesses, Rice University expert finds

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Search engine branding to be examined by researcher

Jun 11, 2008

Like other industries, companies that maintain search engines must work harder to recruit and retain customers. One way to do this is branding -- creating a cognitive impression that a user is likely to retain and rely on ...

Japan to develop Internet search engine

Jun 14, 2006

Major Japanese companies plan to develop technology for a advanced search engine to hit art the market dominance of Yahoo!, Google and Microsoft.

Recommended for you

IOC defends Rio legacy amid green protests

1 hour ago

Ecological protests on Saturday dogged the final day of an International Olympic Committee executive board meeting in Rio as green campaigners slated the choice of a nature reserve to hold the golf event ...

Barclays to allow payments by using Twitter handles

Feb 27, 2015

The next chapter in banks moving into the digital age is a stretch beyond reminding customers over phone lines that they can also bank online. Barclays has launched Twitter payments through Pingit.

QR codes engineered into cybersecurity protection

Feb 27, 2015

QR, or Quick Response, codes – those commonly black and white boxes that people scan with a smartphone to learn more about something – have been used to convey information about everything from cereals ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.