The story of Ecosia
Ecosia first came into being in December 2009, coinciding with the Copenhagen climate talks that stirred a lot of discussion on climate change. Christian Kroll, a fresh graduate in business administration then, has just returned home from a world tour. He wanted to start a profitable venture, whose profits would surpass monetary worth and would make the world a better place. The idea of creating a search engine that plant trees occurred to him while using Google. He witnessed the power of advertising and earning through Google and pondered if the same model can be replicated to serve a greater good. Thus Ecosia was born.
Initially, the search engine sourced search results from Yahoo!, Bing and Wikipedia. Later, Ecosia partnered with Microsoft Bing and is currently available on all digital formats – web browser and Android or iOS mobile app.
Ecosia adopted a privacy-friendly policy in 2018 and now all their searches are encrypted, preventing any third party advertiser to access the data.
Ecosia’s plantation projects around the world
Since 2009, Ecosia has been conducting various mass-scale tree plantation programmes all over the world and also collaborated with global stakeholders working with afforestation, including World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in protecting the Amazon basin and Jane Goodall Institute to restore the forest habitats of chimpanzees in Uganda.
Ecosia has also been involved in the ambitious Great Green Wall project in Burkina Faso, Africa which is combating rampant desertification.
At present, Ecosia has over 20 project partners across the world. The process works quite smoothly. 20% of the revenue generated is kept for internal expenses, and the rest is sent across these partnering NGOs stationed in different countries. The plantation is conducted on the ground by these non-profits and relevant evidence is sent to Ecosia headquarters in Berlin. Next, the company ensures that all their partners are keeping their promise to not just plant a sapling or sow a seed, but to take care of the plants till maturity as well.
“We need to change the way we eat, the way we farm, the way we generate our energy – we also need to plant a trillion trees,” the founder told AgFunder News.
A greener world, a cleaner society
Not only the environment but Ecosia’s projects are also helping to build a better, cleaner society. For instance, in Peru’s San Martin region, Ecosia has planted sustainable forests in deforested areas which were illegally being used for cocaine production. In Borneo, Indonesia, and Sumatra, productive tree species are being planted to create economic alternatives to palm oil and secure the existence of the orangutan dependent on these palm forests.
While the plantation movement is helping to restore a river in Ghana, it is restoring the coastal mangrove forests in the island nation of Madagascar.
Wangari Maathai from Kenya had won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004 for launching the green belt movement which empowers lesser privileged rural women while conserving the local biodiversity. Ecosia is proudly partnering with the renowned organisation and creating better lives for these marginal women.
Efforts For Good take
Planting a tree has probably never been so easy. Anyone from any part of the world can now plant a tree with just a few clicks, without having to spend a single dime. Ecosia is the perfect futuristic antidote to the modern civilisation which is ruining the ecological balance of our precious earth. Efforts For Good urges all their readers to start using Ecosia today and make the world greener.