16 Oct 2010

Searching for the rainforest: the eco-friendly search engine.

Most of us know that searching the internet has an impact on CO2-emission. We don't always want to think about it, but really, we know. Bits and bytes might not produce exhaust fumes while travelling the internet highways, but the servers the search engines are running on consume a huge amount of energy.

Fortunately there is hope, in the form of a green alternative called... Ecosia.

It's backed by Bing and Yahoo, so it's an actual search engine. It might not be as massive and versatile as Google, but for most of the stuff we're looking for online, it does a good job. And the more people who'll start using it, the more opportunities Ecosia will get to grow and become even better.

Where it differs from the traditional search engines is that at least 80% of the revenue they're getting from ads and sponsored links is donated to a rainforest protection program run by the WWF. On top of that, Ecosia's server network is powered by green electricity.

By using Ecosia, with every search you do, you can save an average of 2 square metres of rainforest in Juruena National Park in Brasil.

For those who want to know how it works: about 2% of the searches on Ecosia lead to sponsored links. It's clicking on those links that generates the income. Don't bother trying to spam it with fake searches and maniacal clicking, they've got systems in place to detect those. Just use it as your first and foremost search engine, and your 'normal' searching behaviour will make a difference.

http://www.ecosia.org/. Share it on!

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