The Berlin start-up thinks tech companies can be a force for good Internet users around the world are planting trees—nearly 65 million of them to date—just by browsing the internet. That’s because instead of relying on Google or Yahoo to conduct their online searches, they are using Ecosia. Like other search engines, Ecosia makes money through advertising—every time someone clicks on one of the ads located next to search results, Ecosia makes a few cents. Only instead of using its profits to line shareholder pockets, the Berlin-based start-up invests 80 percent of its profits in tree planting. On average, it takes 45 searches to plant a tree. Currently, 8 million users around the world are funding 20 tree-planting projects in 15 countries. For example, Ecosia is planting mangrove trees along the coast in Madagascar , fruit and nut trees in northern Ghana , and native acacia trees near the Golbo Kubis valley in Ethiopia . To make sure that the trees actually stay in the ground, the search engine employs a chief tree-planting officer, who reviews projects and regularly visits tree-planting sites. The company also relies on satellite imaging to help ensure that the millions of trees it funds […]


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