People Are Using This Tree-Planting Search Engine to Help Save Earth After the Amazon Fires

As the Brazilian Amazon continues to burn at a record pace, with nearly 73,000 fires in 2019 thus far, a renewed spotlight has been placed on the rainforest and its vital role on this planet. Accounting for 20% of the Earth's oxygen, it's a global necessity that the Amazon survives—and thrives—in the face of fire and deforestation. Thanks to the intense press coverage, one organization trying to make a difference by planting trees where they're needed most is seeing a huge uptick in business.

At first glance, Ecosia is a search engine like any other, but one of the ways it helps the Amazon rainforest is through its unique mission. For every 45 user searches, enough revenue is earned to plant a tree where it's needed most. Since Ecosia started in 2009, they've planted 65 million trees in countries like Brazil, Senegal, Madagascar, and Ghana.

On an average day, the non-profit search engine has about 20,000 downloads of its app and browser extension. That number shot up to 250,000 downloads on August 22, as the international press began reporting heavily on the fires. While this 1150% increase should be cause for celebration, it's a bittersweet victory for CEO Christian Kroll.

Ecosia Tree Planting Projects

Photo: Ecosia

“We had our team meeting and people were, on the one side, very happy because of the numbers but also very sad because of the forest fires,” shared Kroll. “So it’s both exciting and a tragic occurrence.”

The non-profit, which also has several Brazilian staffers, works by pairing with Microsoft's Bing search engine to provide search results. Search ads generate profit for Ecosia, which puts 80% back into its tree-planting projects. Social media has also played a role in the increased downloads, with people spreading the word on Twitter via the #PrayforAmazonia hashtag.

As public outcry about the fires increases and world leaders call for immediate action, Ecosia is empowering the average citizen to make an impact by doing something simple.

Ecosia: Website | App | Blog
h/t: [Business Insider]

Related Articles:

18 Eco-Friendly Products to Reduce Waste in Style

Ethiopia May Have Set a World Record By Planting 350 Million Trees in Just 12 Hours

Lyft Launches “Green Mode” to Promote the Use of Eco-Friendly Electric Cars

Philippines Passes Law Requiring Students to Plant 10 Trees Before Graduating

Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Contributing Writer and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
Become a
My Modern Met Member
As a member, you'll join us in our effort to support the arts.
Become a Member
Explore member benefits

Sponsored Content