Ecosia is a search engine that has been gaining popularity in recent years for its unique mission: to plant trees using ad revenue generated from user searches. But is Ecosia a legitimate and safe option for your online searches? In this article, we will explore the pros and cons of using Ecosia and compare it to one of the most popular search engines, Google.
What is Ecosia?
Ecosia is a search engine that is similar to Google in terms of functionality, but with an important difference: it uses ad revenue generated from user searches to plant trees. Ecosia has already planted over 120 million trees.
Is Ecosia legit?
Most likely, Ecosia is legit. But, always use it on your own responsibility. This video gives an extensive review of whether Ecosia is (most probably) legit:
Pros of Using Ecosia
- Environmental Impact: The most obvious pro of using Ecosia is the positive impact it has on the environment. By using Ecosia, you are directly contributing to the planting of trees and the reforestation of areas that have been deforested.
- Transparency: Ecosia is transparent about where the money from ad revenue goes and provides detailed information about the tree planting projects on its website. Users can see exactly how many trees have been planted, where they have been planted, and the impact that the trees have on the environment.
- Privacy: Ecosia does not track its users and does not store personal data. This makes it a more private option than Google, which tracks its users and uses their data for targeted advertising.
Cons of Using Ecosia
- Limited Search Results: Ecosia uses Bing which could show worse results than Google. This means that the search results may not be as comprehensive as they would be on Google.
- Ad Revenue: Like all search engines, Ecosia generates revenue from ads. However, as a smaller search engine, the ads may not be as relevant or personalized as they would be on Google.
Comparison to Google
- Environmental Impact: While Google has no specific mission to plant trees, it does have a number of initiatives in place to reduce its carbon footprint and promote sustainable practices. However, the impact of these initiatives is not as direct as using Ecosia, which plants trees with every search.
- Transparency: Google is less transparent about its environmental initiatives and does not provide as much information about its impact on the environment.
- Privacy: As mentioned earlier, Google tracks its users and uses their data for targeted advertising, whereas Ecosia does that less.
- Search Results: Google has a more sophisticated algorithm and therefore has more comprehensive search results.
- Ads: Google’s ads are more personalized and relevant as they are based on the user’s search history and data.
Alternative or addition: TreeClicks
If you would like to plant trees while still using Google, an alternative option is to use the browser extension TreeClicks. TreeClicks is a browser extension that plants trees for every website you visit. The extension works by redirecting a small percentage of the ad revenue generated from your web shopping to tree planting projects. This means that you can continue to use Google for your searches and still make a positive impact on the environment. Or you can use Ecosia AND plant extra trees with TreeClicks. TreeClicks is available for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari and is easy to install and use.
In conclusion, Ecosia is a legitimate and safe search engine that has a unique mission to plant trees using ad revenue. While it may not have as comprehensive search results as Google, it does provide a more direct and transparent way to make a positive impact on the environment. The cons of using Ecosia include limited search results and less personalized ads. However, for those who prioritize the environment, Ecosia may be the better choice. Additionally, if you would like to plant trees while still using Google, the browser extension TreeClicks is an alternative option. Ultimately, the choice of which search engine to use will depend on your priorities and preferences.