Or: How Ecosia might finally make Bing happen.
Are you ready to spend zero dollars, change one small habit, and save part of the Earth?
Meet the search engine that also plants trees: Ecosia. It might be one of the easiest ways to help out your neighbors.
Every search you make on Ecosia gives about .5 cent toward the planting of a tree in Burkina Faso, in Africa.
A huge, half-century drought devastated the region, and trees are a way to regain what was lost — and help people too!
Here's how you can help. It's almost TOO easy.
1. You search, and Ecosia makes its money from search income.
Search income is money made on the little ads you see when you search for stuff.
2. Each search earns about half a cent.
3. To plant one tree, it costs 28 cents. That's about 56 searches = one tree!
Ecosia has already planted just under 2.5 MILLION trees. So join the party, right?!
You might be thinking, "What does drought have to do with trees?" As it turns out, a lot.
During drought, vegetation dries up.
Food is hard to grow, and jobs that come from growing food become even harder to come by. The result is hunger, lack of work, loss of life, and at the end of it all ... huge terrifying dust storms?!!?
Yeah. Without water, soil becomes dust, and it wreaks havoc on humans and other life forms during a drought. Trees are the beginning of solving these problems.
By replenishing trees lost to drought, Ecosia replenishes the earth and provides work for the people of the region. Economies form around the planting of these trees. It's transformative.
So why is everyone not using this tree-planting, life-saving search engine? Well, I think I have an idea.
Ecosia runs on ... Bing.
Sure, it's a perfectly acceptable search engine, but I get that you might be hesitant to use it. Because, well, it's just not Google. And let's be real: It's the search engine used in most movies but not in most lives.
I'm signed up for Ecosia, so to ease all of your "eww Bing" feelings, I searched for some things. Let's see how it went:
1. Where is the nearest pizza place?
Google kinda won that one. But that's because Google knows exactly where I am. Creepy maybe? Ecosia isn't as stalkery. And I'm OK with that. I usually use my phone or Yelp for restaurants, so I can live with this.
But I earned .5 cent for trees! That feels good.
2. Why is Katy Perry mad at Taylor Swift?
When it comes to celebrity feuds that I kinda wonder about, I want my information fast. Google let me know it allegedly might be because Katy stole Taylor's dancers. Ecosia gave me some more up-to-the-minute news about a possible jab that Taylor made. I think Ecosia won that one.
And earned .5 cent!
3. Who is my hometown's state representative?
Hm. Both results were a little bit not helpful. Actually, I'm a little bit concerned that both Bing/Ecosia and Google are better at telling me about Katy Perry than they are about my elected officials, but that's a real talk for another time.
Again, I earned .5 cent!