Skip to content

By Caitlin Bromfield, Online Science and Technology Editor

Bristol students are to play a role in helping save the planet by switching their web browser to Ecosia.

What is Ecosia?
Released in 2009, Ecosia is an online search engine that uses profits generated through sponsored links to plant trees around the world. The algorithms used are based on those of Yahoo and Bing, where search results also list sponsored links from sites. At least 80% of income generated is donated to various reforestation projects across 15 countries.

The founder Christian Kroll spent a year travelling the world and learning about the role that trees and wildlife have to play in our ecosystem before launching Ecosia. He spoke to The Guardian in 2009 explaining: “Thanks to sponsored links, search engines earn billions every year, Ecosia believes there is a more eco-friendly way of using these huge profits and that the money should be better used to fight global warming.”

At present, forests cover 31% of the total land area of our planet but 18.7 million acres are lost per year, equating to around 27 football fields per minute. Ecosia aims to combat that figure by planting 1 tree for every 45 searches on average.

Bristol on Ecosia
At present, Ecosia has approximately 7 million users, and following the successful integration of Ecosia at the University of Sussex and University of Sheffield there is a campaign to do the same at Bristol. Headed by Elspeth Taylor, the campaign - Bristol on Ecosia - aims to make Ecosia the University’s default search engine by engaging staff and students with the software. The latest statistics show 68 trees have been planted by the university from around 10,000 searches.

How can I get involved?
Students and Staff can show their support and join Ecosia by following the link below as well as following the campaign on Facebook. With Bristol known as the ‘green city’ will Ecosia lead the university’s effort to reduce their carbon footprint?

Featured Image: Eutah Mizushima/ Unsplash

Would you switch to Ecosia? Let us know your thoughts!