You might have recently heard of the Ecosia search engine, or “the search engine that plants trees”, an eco-friendly search engine founded in 2009 that donates 80% of its surplus income to tree planting programs all over the world. It’s a simple concept: you choose Ecosia to browse the web and the income that Ecosia generates as a result is used to plant trees. One tree every 11 seconds, to be precise.
Ecosia’s current aim is to have planted one billion trees by 2020, and with their homepage’s banner that boasts an ever-increasing count of over 5 million already planted, it may just be an achievable goal.
But what if the Ecosia search engine did ever grow to the size of the world’s number one search engine, Google? Google receives 40,000 searches every second. As it stands, the search engine that plants trees only makes around 56 searches per second. But if Ecosia ever developed into a business that rivalled Google, that quantity of searches per second would mean that Ecosia could plant 714.285 trees every second.
Let’s be optimistic and call it 715 trees per second… That’s 42, 900 trees per minute and a whopping 2, 574, 000 trees in just one hour!
After 3 hours, then, the amount of trees planted by the Ecosia search engine would equal the 8 million estimated trees that cover 20% of London. After 15 hours – a long working day for some – Ecosia would have the resources to plant enough trees to cover the whole of London (1,572 km²).
Pretty cool, right?
Right! Because that would be enough leafy greens to combat the 200, 000 acres of rainforest burned down every day on our planet. Which is pretty important because – while entertaining videos on YouTube is what many of us do indeed live for – it’s those wonderful, oxygen-giving trees that keep us living, breathing and here to surf the Internet in the first place.
So yes, we’re all for the search engine that plants trees. At the same time, we shouldn’t feel too guilty should we decide to stick with good old Google for now. As a company, Google have been carbon neutral since 2007. While they’re not the search engine that plants trees every 11 seconds, they do use 50% less energy than other typical data centres and are the largest purchasers of renewable energy in the world.
Their website claims that “when we provide an active user one month of Google services, we use less energy than driving a car one mile”. Google remains committed to creating energy efficient data centres and accelerating the transition to renewable energy. So really you’re doing a good thing by staying in and looking at hilarious pictures of cats on the Internet instead of getting out the house and driving to see your mates on your days off. Happy days.