I think it's important to point this out, because in their marketing, they make it sound as if searching alone is enough. There's also this little counter in the upper right corner. 45 searches (on average) are required to plant a tree. Of course, only if you click on an ad.
You could even argue that you cause more environmental damage, because Ecosia is then just an unnecessary wrapper around Bing consuming energy (although it's probably not much).
Edit: Added second paragraph
Edit2: Source is their FAQ: https://ecosia.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/206019452-How-d...
Thank you for pointing that out. There is no point using it for search if you are using ad-blocking software.
I'd disagree. The network effect can help. Acquaintances tend to be interested whenever they see me using any search engine that isn't Google.
Do you have a source/reference for this?
Like any other search engine, Ecosia earns money from clicks on the advertisements that appear above and beside the search results.
The advertisements on Ecosia are clearly labeled as Ads and are text links to websites that pay for each click by users. The ads are delivered to you by our partner Bing, who pays Ecosia a share of the revenue generated via these ads.
Ecosia earns a few cents for every click on an ad from Bing – or a portion of the purchase price made through an affiliate link. Ecosia then gives the profits from this ad revenue to planting projects.
We also make a small income on commission from our online store. All profits we receive go towards our projects – which means we can plant 20 trees every time we sell a t-shirt.
If these numbers are to be believed, planting a tree costs maybe 50 cents, max. I am....skeptical.
> It costs our tree planting partners about 0.22 EUR to plant a tree. 22 cents divided by 0.5 cents makes about 45 searches until we can plant one new tree.
I suspect Google is much less conservative about ad fraud determinations than they lead the public to believe - It's in their financial interest to do as poorly as possible without damaging their reputation.
The purpose of ads is (1) to make you buy something you didn't need before the ad made you aware of it, or (2) to make you choose the advertised brand amongst competing brands when you buy a product comparable to the advertised one.
Runaway consumption is what has gotten us into this ecological mess in the first place.
Watching ads to replant trees just sounds very strange.
In part. If instead of almost 8 billion humans there were 4 billions we wouldn't be in this mess either.
I'm not sure your logic follows. The US outputs roughly 13% of global CO2 emissions despite having 4% of the world population.
If the ratio of population to CO2 output was scaled in this case, 7.5 billion US citizens would output 118,000 Mt of CO2 per year. Halving that (to less than 4 billion humans) would be 59,000 Mt of CO2 per year, and the current global output is 37,000 Mt per year.
The issue is overpopulation. You need a specific amount of resources to sustain that number. you cant half it without halfing the population
The forestry industry views forests as large scale gardening, and they spend big bucks to plant trees after they log an area. In many cases I think our good will is being hijacked to pay for something that they ought to cover.
I'd be much more interested in a program to plant a diversity of native trees in areas that are protected.
Failing that, I guess it's not the end of the world that we re-plant some logging company's patch, it just doesn't give me the same warm-fuzzies.
From their infographic, you can see that Ecosia donates 51.6% of its income to planting trees, the rest going to employee incomes, reserves, and "spreading the word".
You can save yourself the extra step and simply donate to the foundations that Ecosia donates money to:
> For example, when you do a search on Ecosia we forward the following information to our partner, Bing: IP address, user agent string, search term, and some settings like your country and language setting.
So when a search is done, our IP address is send to Bing.
I really love the idea of planting trees from profit, and have nothing against ecosia. Just commented to inform readers.
Before getting downvoted into oblivion, I would like to make it clear that I'm not saying ecosia is unethical or that everyone should stop using it because of this. For some it matters, for some it doesn't and ecosia seems a great choice for those whom this doesn't matter. I'm just posting it so that those who do care(about their IP being send to Bing) can be aware(since I wasn't for a few months).
>So when a search is done, our IP address is send to Bing.
Explain why you believe that's a negative? If you use Bing normally they would know your IP as well
>user agent string
Again, using bing normally will allow them to see this information
Obviously required to be sent to bing
>some settings like your country and language setting
Again, this is information that would be available to Bing if you use their service normally
I'm a bit uncomfortable in letting MicroSoft associate my IP with what I search daily. I use GitHub and Linkedin and most of the time I'm logged in to at least one of those services. Now I don't know for sure if Bing associates these searches to my account based on the IP(someone can shed some light on this?). StartPage and DuckDuckGo both use third party searches but they don't share user IP(https://support.startpage.com/index.php?/Knowledgebase/Artic...)
For other details like search term, country etc... I absolutely understand that they are needed to be send. I just quoted them as a sentence.
If it wasn't for the IP sharing, I would be a happy ecosia user :)
I can only assume ecosia share this data with Microsoft because doing so has allowed them to land a more lucrative deal.
Not sure how DDG and other search engines that rely on Bing does it, but it’s certainly possible without sharing the users’ IP with Microsoft.
So it is probably possible.
> Results are customized to the location or market of the user. The location or market can be determined implicitly (via IP address) or configured explicitly.
> Many web services collect user data in order to sell it without asking your permission. We don’t sell your data or your searches to advertising companies.
> We protect your searches from potential eavesdroppers with a securely encrypted connection. This way we make sure that nobody between you and us can see your searches.
If they’re just handing everything off to Bing wholesale, are these quotes either misleading or straight up lies? The first one I’m confused about with the “anonymize all searches within one week”. I don’t know what that means. The second seems like Bing could still do those things. And the last one would be a lie considering Bing can see it.
We don’t create personal profiles of you based on your search history. (but our partner Bing might)
We don’t sell your data or your searches to advertising companies. (but our partner Bing is and hands us a piece of the rewards)
It’s disingenuous and misleading to the average user. They should be criticized for it.
How would that be a lie. They protect from eavesdroppers, as in someone intercepting the connection and trying to extract data being transmitted within a system. Bing is part of the whole system, not a third party trying to eavesdrop.
Finally, they say they don't allow anyone between you and them - which is different from allowing between them and a third party, but I'm sure they would use an encrypted connection even when communicating with Bing.
I think their page touting “privacy” should clearly indicate that they use Bing and that your privacy is ultimately beholden to Microsoft, not Ecosia, especially since Ecosia is happy to send unique identifiers to Bing for personalized search results as default.
It feels like a deftly move to offload their own responsibility to then be able to tout privacy as a selling point because they themselves don’t do anything with your information, Microsoft does.
I'm much more comfortable to give some information to Microsoft then giving more information to Google so they can add it to my profile they already have.
I know it's not a problem for most, especially if they are using search engines like Bing or Google. And I believe it's better to use ecosia than using say, Bing or Google.
PS. I'm German and do searches in German and English.
I like the idea but I wonder on average just how many searches it takes for one tree to be planted.
Of course you can cheat. Plant a tree that is dead, dig it up and replant it again and again. I doubt they are doing this, but it is something to watch for.
>We know that Ecosia earns an average of 0.5 cents (EUR) per search. It costs our tree planting partners about 0.22 EUR to plant a tree. 22 cents divided by 0.5 cents makes about 45 searches until we can plant one new tree. Depending on clicks on ads and how much search ad revenue these generate for Ecosia, it may take fewer searches. Think of it this way: we currently fund the planting of a new tree every second.