If search engines make money from advertising, why isn’t some of that money directed to the greater good?
That appears to be the argument made by the founders of a European non-profit I have just read about. It is called Ecosia and is a search engine that can be added to Safari, according to its website. Based in Germany, the search engine’s business model is that it earns a few cents on every search made through Yahoo and Microsoft Bing through a revenue-sharing arrangement. When ads on these sites are clicked by users, some of that income is gained by Ecosia, which uses a percentage of the money to plant trees.
So far Ecosia has, according to its website, planted close to 190,000,000 trees, mostly in Africa.
This post is not an endorsement. I have never used Ecosia, having never heard of it until today. I have also read criticisms of it but those seem to be the same complaints that are made about any search engine. Read up on it yourself.
It is an intriguing idea. One that caught my imagination, given the love of trees I discovered when researching botany to write my novel, Joyous Lies.
The world needs many more trees to counteract all those being cut down. This is one way to do it.