Technology is a mixed bag of good. The tremendous energy requirements that are needed to keep up with our hunger for the latest and greatest is contributing to climate change; at the same time, technology might very well be the thing that saves us.
And as much as climate change solutions need to be on the level of government and corporations, there is also an opportunity for us – you and I – to help. By combining our individual efforts, we can make a positive shift.
Maybe even just by searching the internet for funny cat memes.
That’s the idea behind Ecosia. With every search, Ecosia, which is added to Chrome, plants trees where they are most needed. Partnering with Bing, they show advertised search results (just like Google) when you search online. Those advertising dollars pay for their overhead, but the profits pay for reforestation projects. They claim that roughly 50 searches plant a tree somewhere in the world. According to NC State University, one tree can absorb “as much as 48 pounds of carbon dioxide per year and can sequester 1 ton of carbon dioxide by the time it reaches 40 years old.” Google reports 3.5 billion searches per day. Even if only 10% of those users began using Ecosia, that is still about 7 million trees planted. That is … a lot of trees.
Will trees save our planet from climate change?
Unfortunately, trees won’t save our planet. Not enough trees can be planted to counteract our emissions without also threatening our food production. So this is by no means THE solution to climate change.
So no, your internet searches aren’t going to save the planet? But can you make a small difference just by searching on Ecosia instead? It seems like maybe you can.
Let us know if you try it. We’d love to hear your thoughts.