Ecosia, the tree-planting search engine powered by Microsoft’s Bing, has announced that it will be using revenues from people’s searches next Tuesday [27 July 2021] to fund forest restoration projects in countries that have been affected by wildfires.
The restoration projects will recover areas in the United States, Brazil and Australia and initiatives decimated by wildfires and will also aim to provide more resilience against future wildfires.
In northern California, Ecosia working with the American Forest Foundation to help local landowners replant burnt areas with native species, such as Ponderosa Pine and Douglas-fir.
Meanwhile in Australia, Ecosia will be expanding restoration efforts in the Byron Bay Area where project partner ReForest Now will plant over 100 different native species to undo some of the destruction of last year’s fires and build resilience against future bushfires in the area. The trees will attract rainfall, cool temperatures, clean the air, and provide much needed habitat for wildlife.
And in Brazil, donations will go directly to firefighters in the Atlantic Forest who put out fires set by local landowners, usually to make space for cattle farming. If these fires aren’t put out, they often end up burning nearby forests. Ecosia has already invested over €400,000 into firefighting in Brazil to date, and saved an estimated 6,700,000 trees from the flames.
Ecosia’s business model is fairly simple, people browse the web and are shown a few ads at the top of the search results just like Google and Bing do. The revenues that Ecosia collects from these search engines are then largely investing in tree financing.
In May 2021, Ecosia’s income was €2,181,020 and €1,133,436 was spent to finance 1,713,195 trees. The rest of the money went to green investments, taxes and social security, advertising its product, and operational costs.
This is not the first time that Ecosia has dedicated an entire day to funding specific projects. After weeks of fires in Australia, Ecosia announced in January 2020 that it was giving revenue raised on January 23 specifically to tree planting in Australia. This resulted in Australia getting 26,446 trees just from one day’s efforts.
If you’re interested in helping out next Tuesday, you can switch your browser’s default search engine over to Ecosia. All you need to do is search the web as normal and then Ecosia can start collecting revenue.
Image Source: ReForest Now
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyle including sustainable and green living.