Making a difference as you search

There are things that we can all do that minimise our impacts on climate change, mitigate our carbon footprints, increase biodiversity and play our part in ensuring that our planets climate remains stable for all life.

There are changes we can and should all make: big changes, small changes and everything in between. Most of these changes are fairly well known and this is not a blog about them.

This post is about something that we all will likely do several times a day and often far more frequent - searching the internet using a search engine.

“Google it!” People will tell you if you want to find something on the internet.

What most people don’t know is that there are alternatives to Google for finding information on web (no, not Bing) and that many of these alternatives are able to use your searches to create positive change to our environment.

This new breed of search engines (many still underpinned by the tried and tested Google algorithms) use your searches to generate income through advertising – as all search engines do – to fund schemes such as worldwide tree planting, rewilding initiatives, cleaning our oceans and improving biodiversity.

Below are some examples of search engines that you might want to think about switching to for your next search:

Ecosia (opens new tab)

One of the most widely used environmental search engines, Ecosia uses search revenue for tree planting in places that need them most including rewilding the desert in Burkina Faso making it fertile once more.

Searches using Ecosia have already led to the planting of 128 million trees and each search removes 1kg of CO2 from the environment.

OceanHero (opens new tab)

OceanHero use search revenue to fund projects that remove plastics from our oceans, making them healthier and to fund small scale plastic recycling centres in various locations around the world.

Since 2019 OceanHero searches have already led to 18.5 million plastic bottles being removed from our oceans.

Ekoru (opens new tab)

UK based Ekoru, uses its search revenue to fund a variety of community and voluntary groups making an impact on climate change across the UK and beyond.

At the time of writing, Ekoru searches have saved close to 51 million kg of CO2.

These are just three examples. There are a more than 20 different search engines and browser plug-ins that you can use to help make a positive impact on our environment. So, the next time you need to search the internet, maybe think beyond Googling it.

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