Home Arts & Lit Exeter on Ecosia: Internet Goes Green

Exeter on Ecosia: Internet Goes Green

In a world where climate change is rife, Sophie Witt discusses Google's alternative search engine, Ecosia.

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Whether it’s pouring over online sales or scrolling through Instagram, accessing digital articles or google mapping the next pub visit, the average student conducts hundreds of internet searches per day. Ecosia has been developed to transform each internet search into something bigger. As three Sustainability students, we were amazed to find that by using the Ecosia browser our internet searches could help fund tree planting in areas that most need it, with no more effort than a single click.

Ecosia is an alternative search engine to Google, that contributes at least 80% of its profits to tree planting and conservation projects. This might sound too good to be true, but Ecosia has already successfully funded the planting of nearly 50 million trees worldwide.

our internet searches could help fund tree planting in areas that most need it

Ecosia’s simple layout clearly keeps track of how many searches you have made, showing how many trees you have personally planted as a result. Inspired by the impact our individual searches were so quickly having, we began to think about the impact we could make if all students at the University of Exeter also made the switch to Ecosia. The answer: 440,000 trees would be planted each year if all Exeter students searched with Ecosia. With this in mind, we decided to approach the ‘Ecosia on Campus’ campaign, set up by students at Sussex University, who then helped us start our very own Exeter on Ecosia.

Ecosia has now set us up with Exeter’s unique and personalised Ecosia link (https://ecosia.co/exeteruniversity). By encouraging Exeter students to install Ecosia on their laptops and mobiles using this link, we are now able to see the total number of searches carried out by current Ecosia users at Exeter, and hence see the total number of trees we have planted! The grand total so far has been very encouraging, with over 10,000 searches made, funding the planting of over 200 trees. This was achieved in only a few months, with only a limited number of students knowing about the project, so it isn’t hard to imagine how quickly these numbers would grow as more and more students make the switch to Ecosia.

440,000 trees would be planted each year if all Exeter students searched with Ecosia

Tree planting has countless benefits, from helping to combat climate change, to reducing poverty by providing food and incomes for the receiving communities, to increasing biodiversity through reforestation. To find out more, search ‘Exeter on Ecosia’ on Facebook and visit our page, where you will be able to find our personalised link to install the app and get planting through your searches!

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