Sara Karanusic has written an article about Ecosia, a search engine that is also helping the environment. Sara says that the University of Essex should switch to Ecosia as its primary search engine, here is why.

The pace of our modern lifestyles rapidly accelerates all the time, and we are left with practically no time or energy on our hands to do or care about anything besides our jobs and studies. Increasingly capitalist sentiments in our society have slowly made most of us completely insensitive to a whole set of important issues because they ostensibly do not constitute parts of our daily experience anymore.

Urban landscapes put environmental issues out of sight and out of minds. However, a lot of us still crave the feeling of doing something good for our communities and the world around us; but it just feels like we are not as ready to invest a lot of time into it.

Therefore, a group of students on our campus started a campaign called Essex on Ecosia, whose aim is informing fellow students and others on campus about the fantastic positive impact using Ecosia has on our environment. Ecosia is a renowned search engine based in Berlin that invests at least 80% (at times even 100%) of their profits into various tree-planting projects around the world.

Roughly 40-45 searches would equal the planting of one tree.  

The idea is to follow the footsteps of Sussex University where the campaign was so successful that the whole university made a switch to Ecosia! We hope that Essex will make the same green choice.

Ecosia has already planted over 85 million trees in Brazil, Peru, Ghana, Ethiopia, Uganda, Nicaragua, Australia, Madagascar, Kenya, Burkina Faso, Indonesia, Columbia, Senegal and many other places that are in urgent need of reforestation. Imagine saving the world by browsing the web! Ecosia is your chance to do something by practically doing nothing.

Besides the obvious fact that using Ecosia is a greener and more sustainable alternative to e.g. Google or Mozilla, it also proves a better option when privacy matters are concerned. Unlike many other search engines, Ecosia does not use third-party trackers or sell your data to advertisers. Moreover, they do not store your searches permanently – they are all anonymized within one week. Your searches are encrypted, which means that they are protected from potential eavesdroppers through a securely encrypted connection.

Besides, the mobile app layout is exactly the same as Google – you will not be missing out on much.

Ecosia is positively the most sustainable option out there as they have a neutral carbon footprint – meaning that they run on renewable energy as well as planting trees, which take CO2 out of the air. The ecological advantages are obvious; by installing Ecosia, you are joining a global movement of users who are empowered to turn an everyday action into a force for social change. Moreover, their tree-planting projects around the world support local communities by employing them and paying for their work. The company provides full transparency of their finances by publishing monthly financial reports.

The Essex on Ecosia campaign is trying to raise awareness about this possibility on campus and reach out to as many students and staff as possible. If you like what you hear then consider joining the growing number of Ecosia users, download the app directly here. Anyone that downloads the Ecosia extension through this link will start to add to the university’s tree counter.

If you already use Ecosia, you first need to;

  1. Uninstall the extension from your browser.
  2. Clear your internet cookies.
  3. Re-install Ecosia using our university’s link.

Help the Essex community to plant as many trees as possible! If the campaign is successful, we might get the university to switch to Ecosia by the end of this academic year. Imagine the amount of trees planted if the whole campus went green! Both the Essex on Ecosia group and Mother Nature are very thankful for anyone who joins.

For more information, you can check Ecosia’s website, or you can share and like our Facebook page where we will post updates on our activities.

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