Why this potential Google competitor is gaining ground in Philippines

August 3, 2018 - 2:54 PM
When googling—or searching—grows trees.

A lesser known Internet search engine that helps plant more trees is slowly gaining attention in the Philippines and beyond.

Videos from international groups being circulated online talk about Ecosia, a web search engine based in Germany, which allows its users to save the environment just by using it for their online queries.

What is Ecosia?

Ecosia works by collecting money every time an online user searches on the website, and uses this money to plant trees in places “where they are needed most,” based on the World Economic Forum video.

When you open Ecosia.org, you will see that it claims to have already planted more than 30 million trees.

“Rebooting the environment, one click at a time,” the WEF wrote, describing the search engine on its Facebook account.

Facebook page Our Planet, the environmental arm of social media agency ATTN:, shared how people online can contribute to reforestation just by “browsing the internet.”

In a now-viral clip, Our Planet features Ecosia for using its ad revenue from every search query for its tree-planting programs.

Internet Trees

People have helped plant over 32 million trees just by browsing the internet.

Posted by Our Planet on Friday, July 13, 2018

Unique business model

A total of 20 trees could be planted if one person continuously uses it, whether via desktop or as an app.

An official from Ecosia explained that through the revenues the site makes, the company also provides livelihood to the people living in the places where the planting programs are done.

“Which means that the more trees you have and the healthier the forest is, the more valuable it is to the people who live close to it,” US country manager Jacey Bingler said.

Moreover, Ecosia founder Christian Kroll also highlighted the importance of trees in rebuilding lost watersheds, where some people get their water.

“On a bigger scale, trees actually help to restore the watershed so people have better access to freshwater,” Kroll said.

While it’s only turning heads now, Kroll founded Ecosia in 2009 after a world trip allowed him to see the severe impacts of deforestation.

In November 2014, it was able to plant its one-millionth tree and so it renewed its mission to plant a billion more by 2020.

Ecosia’s slow growth in the Philippines

The country is losing 47,000 hectares of forest cover every year, the Forest Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources said in a previous report.

Ecosia’s reach and its facilities are still too small compared to Google, but it had caught the attention of some environmently conscious Filipinos.

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