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Little Things Add Up: #1: Ecosia

Being more conscientious about your online behavior doesn't have to be effortful. Simply changing your default search engine can help plant millions of trees. Learn how.


When you start talking about climate change, people often get quiet. The awkward climate silence includes a healthy dose of not knowing what an individual can do to make an impact, so it’s normal (and maybe healthy) to tune out bad news and go about your day.

Many of us look on waiting on the government or big business or a hero to do something HUGE to combat climate change. While we wait, iBec’s new Social Responsibility team will be presenting you with a series of little tiny things we can start doing, right now, that will have a big impact on our lovely planet. As part of becoming a B-Corp , we’re examining how our company culture can help have a stronger impact on the environment and social causes. We believe that there’s always room to improve the conscientiousness of our actions, and that all of us sharing ideas and working together can start a wave off change for good.

Enter Ecosia. The self proclaimed “search engine that plants trees” runs on Microsoft/Bing’s search algorithm and software. The results are 90% as good as Google’s so for your next search, start here.

To put together trend analysis reports, SEO recommendations, and to research our clients’ competitors, I spend a lot of time searching. To date I’ve made almost 9,000 searches via Ecosia and anytime they don’t find what I needed, I hop over to Google for a second search. According to Ecosia’s estimates my switch to searching here first has led to the planting of 194 trees! If even a few of you reading this switch to Ecosia we will plant thousands of trees together in 2021 without spending any money or inconveniencing our lives.

Screenshot of Ecosia

Climate experts predict that humans currently need a net gain of 15 trillion trees to offset and reverse the impact of increased carbon in our atmosphere, so every new tree planted counts towards the massive deficit. At the time of writing this, Ecosia has planted 118 MILLION trees. This alone isn’t an end all be all solution to capturing carbon but it’s a start.

Like a modern day Lorax, Ecosia is speaking for trees which not only give us clean air to breathe, but also sequester carbon from the warming atmosphere, filter our water, protect our soil’s health, and provide habitats for birds and insects. At a time when clear cutting and burning of our rainforests is accelerating, we need to strategically reforest the planet as quickly as possible. Where and how we plant trees matters (for more check out this podcast.) Beyond that, we need to look at what behaviors are causing deforestation. As Ecosia’s founder puts it:

It’s easy to plant trees, but it’s very difficult to make sure they stay standing.

Easy way to become a more conscientious user of the planet+internet: set your default search engine to Ecosia and feel good about how you search. Search on (via Ecosia) and keep your eye on the iBec blog and social media for more tips, habits, ideas and products to create a wave of change for good.

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