In today’s digital age, our online activities have a tangible impact on the environment. From social media browsing to doing research for that university project, every click can leave a carbon footprint. Luckily, because of the growing environmental concerns, a new wave of sustainable search engines has emerged. Offering eco-conscious users like you a guilt-free way to surf the web. In this article, we’ll explore the rising trend of sustainable search engines, their commitment and how you can effortlessly contribute to a greener planet with every online search.
But first… What is the Impact of Internet Browsing?
Did you find your way to this blog through one of the eco-friendly search engines? It’s unlikely, as approximately 91% of all searches are conducted using Google. Despite its ability to provide personalized results, Google’s accuracy and relevance come at a cost to our planet.
With each Google search generating 0.2 grams of CO2, the cumulative impact is substantial. Globally, this amounts to 700 million grams of CO2 daily, equivalent to driving to the moon seven times! Though Google aims to transition its data centers and offices to 100% decarbonized energy by 2030. They’re still responsible for massive energy consumption levels. Which, for example, resulted in more than 17 million tons of CO2 emissions for 2020. Comparable to the emissions of countries like Nepal or Bhutan.
There are eco-friendly search engines offering a greener alternative for your daily queries. If you’re looking to do your bit for the planet in an easy way, here are some eco-friendly search engines that help the environment.
1. Ecosia: Planting trees One search at a time
Ecosia is the search engine that helps projects in planting trees and it is arguably the most popular one too. The profits from your searches allows Ecosia to plant trees around the world where they are most needed. 100% of Ecosia’s profits support climate action and a huge chunk goes to the canopies.
The Certified B Corp uses 80% of the income generated by search ads to plant trees. So far, more than 20 million users have contributed to a quickly growing 154,950,227+ trees planted.
I have their app downloaded on my phone too because even QR code searches send me directly here. They are also completely transparent, since they publish their financial reports. So you can see exactly where their profits from your searches are going to. I also like that they are privacy-friendly, with no 3rd parties.
Ecosia claims that you can plant a tree for every 45 searches. And 1 single search removes 1 kg of CO2 from the atmosphere!
Available here: Ecosia
2. Ocean Hero: Beating Pollution in our Oceans
Help save our oceans by surfing the web with Ocean Hero. This search engine uses revenues you’re your searches for many projects to clean our oceans and help vulnerable communities with issues originating from water pollution. Some projects include:
- Plastic recoveries
- Micro-recycling plants
- Ocean pollution education programs
- Awareness campaigns
By using Ocean Hero as your search engine, you can directly contribute to the well-being of our oceans and global communities. Ocean Hero’s search platform operates on Microsoft Bing, ensuring effective and reliable search results. What I personally like is activating the “Ocean mode,” to gain access to an many marine-themed homepage backgrounds for customizing your page.
Every time you open a new tab, search the web, or answer a few quick questions, you will earn “shells”. For every 5 searches (or 100 shells collected), they claim to recover one plastic bottle from the ocean.
So far, they’ve removed 32,506,976 ocean-bound bottles, thanks to a partnership with Plastic Bank.
Available here: OceanHero
3. Rapusia: For Environmental and Social Solutions
Rapusia is another sustainable search engine, developed by the Tennis World Foundation, designed to help you make a difference for the environmental and social causes close to your heart. Each search earns you a “heart,” which represents a portion of the donations made from Rapusia’s ad revenue. You have the freedom to allocate these hearts to projects within various categories, including sports, animal welfare, and social and environmental causes. Some projects they collaborate with include:
- Monkey Rehabilitation Programs
- Equal access for youth and children in Africa
- Shark Exploitation Awareness programs
An impressive 50% of the advertising revenue is directed towards these environmental and social initiatives. What particularly caught my attention about Rapusia apart is its commitment to user anonymity. Since it does not track or collect any of your personal information, so you can browse free from data sharing with advertisers.
Available here: Rapusia
Embrace Eco-Friendly Browsing
With the widely available knowledge of negative impacts of consumption, we are now trying to make amends with our own lifestyles whether by recycling or eating plant based. But this can sometimes be challenging, especially as a student with not much time or resources. That is why I love the concept of sustainable search engines because it costs nothing to take this small step and make an impact.
If you’re serious about fighting climate change, why not use a green search engine? All these search engines are easily accessible, you can add any of them as an extension to your Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox browsers today!
By choosing one of these options, you become an integral part of a purpose-driven search engine that not only aids your daily internet browsing but also contributes significantly to making the world a better place.