What is the problem?

  • Currently, most schools use search engines such as Google or Bing.
  • These engines are functional and deliver the expected results, but there are some key downsides to using these:
    • Privacy
      • Google and Microsoft have poor privacy practices and track records. And their terms of service do nothing to help reassure us about this. (Google, Microsoft)
    • No impact
      • Neither Google or Bing make any major efforts to have a positive impact on society. They make large profits which are then retained within the companies.

Is there a solution?

  • Yes, there are other search engines that can deliver equivalent result qualities, whilst using their earnings to make a meaningful impact on society.


  • Ecosia is a search engine dedicated to planting trees around the world. For every 45 searches made across their platform, they fund the planting of 1 tree.
  • They have recently surpassed 200M trees planted, and have made their pledge legally binding.
  • In terms of terms, they’re performing better than Google and Microsoft.
  • Ecosia also runs their servers on renewable energy, ensuring that they minimise any climate impact to the maximum.
  • They are comitted to donating 100% of profit to climate projects, meaning they go above and beyond their tree planting pledge with other projects
  • They have extreme financial transparency - just take a look

In 2021, Ecosia was actively planting trees in the following countries

  • Ecosia is easy to switch to, and provides guides for organisations looking to switch here
  • They also enable organisations to track their impact easily if they would like to track their overall impact.

Who’s using Ecosia?

  • Some notable organisations that are using Ecosia include:


  • Whilst Ecosia is the big player, they’re not the only option.
  • Instead of planting a tree every 45 searches, OceanHero removes around 1 plastic bottle worth of plastic from the ocean with every 5 searches.
  • How does OceanHero work?
  • They are also involved in education about plastic and the construction of recycling plants.

How easy is it to use?

  • Both Ecosia and OceanHero are very easy to configure as default search engines.
  • For individuals, it can be changed in your browser of choice without any real effort.
  • For organisations, this guide makes it easy for most setups.

What are the risks?

  • For OceanHero, less is known and I cannot personally provide much insight.
  • However, for Ecosia there are effectively no risks.
    • Results
      • Ecosia uses results sourced from Microsoft and Google, meaning quality should be equal to those provided by the standard search engines.
    • Performance
      • These days, Ecosia is massive and can easily handle all searches, there are rarely any technical issues and it is unlikely that any major problems will occur.
    • Privacy
      • Whilst search engines can access a lot of personal information, Ecosia is generally considered more trustworthy than Microsoft or Google, and their Terms of Service provide more robust protections to users.