Why No Black Friday Discounts?

13th September 2020

Plant trees while you search the web

Plant trees while you search the web

Plant trees while you search the web. Yes, really.

Ever feel frustrated by those giant multinational tech companies not paying their 'fair share' of tax and their tendency to shirk their global responsibilities?  A gnarly problem indeed and not about to be solved any time soon, but as usual there is something we can do: we can vote with our clicks. 

 

Google's parent company Alphabet had revenue of $34.34 billion last year and this little tweak won't make a dent in their profits but you can now use the power of your web searching to plant trees. Not Google, but Bing has partnered with Ecosia, sharing its best search engine technology with the 11 year old German company. 

Ecosia utilises Microsoft's Bing search engine platform and applies the profit it makes from our searches to tree planting where it is most needed. The company is transparent and its activities are independently audited to ensure it is doing what it claims and it is now a certified B Corporation. More on B Corps an other time...

It is really super-simple: get the free browser extension and mobile app and plant trees with every search.

Ecosia Mobile app: planet trees while you search

Founded in 2009 by Christian Kroll, Ecosia makes its money from advertising revenue in the same way as Google, earning every time someone clicks on one of the adverts that appears above or beside the search results.

Ecosia then donates 80% of the profits it makes to tree-planting charities. To date it has funded over 107 million new trees, from Indonesia to Brazil, and Kenya to Haiti.

Since not everyone clicks on the adverts, the company estimates that, on average, it takes 45 searches to raise the 0.22 euro (20p; 26 US cents) cost of planting of one tree.

Today Berlin-based Ecosia says it has 15 million users. This is a tiny drop in the ocean compared with Google's estimated 5.6 billion searches per day, but Christian he has grand ambitions to "scale massively, win more users, and plant billions of trees". 

Carbon-negative

By planting trees and offsetting its energy use with renewables, Ecosia claims each search with Ecosia actually removes 1 kg of CO2 from the air, which makes Ecosia a carbon-negative search engine: here’s their math.  This means that if Ecosia were as big as Google (some chance!), it could absorb 15% of all global CO2 emissions, enough to offset vehicle emissions worldwide. But at it's current size  

It's official: home gardening makes you happy

 A recent Princeton study has revealed what perhaps many of us might already have guessed: household gardening is associated with high emotional well-being, similar to biking and walking. Further, vegetable gardening can make you happier that ornamental gardening and finally that for women and low-income families gardening caused the greatest happiness of the 15 activities studied..

 

 

 

 Japanese flying car makes first successful test flight

 Just as more of us are spending more time working from home and we say we are finding it less safe to commute by public transport, a Toyota-backed start-up has successfully launched its first "flying car". Looking more like a large drone with fans in all 4 corners rather than a car, it does nevertheless actually fly. There is still some way to go before many of us take to the air to walk the dog or get to the beach, but this is certainly an progress and we are warned to start looking to the skies in Japan to see these mini-helicopters in action in 2023.

 

 Greenland thrives after Trump tried to buy it

The huge cold island has a lesson for many of us in how to adjust our pace of life and enjoy isolation.

 

 

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