With the advancement in tech nowadays, you can actually make a lot of difference with simple browsing. Our planet’s condition at present is not ideal due to deforestation and plastic waste in the oceans.
Having such ventures to make sustainable living possible is a positive step towards a green future.
What Is Ecosia?
Ecosia search engine plants trees every time we make a search using it. It sounds pretty convenient and too good to be true.
The search engine is just like Google, Bing, or Yahoo, and all you have to do is make your account and browse like you normally do.
Christian Foll in Berlin, in 2009 decided to develop this search engine that would help with deforestation. With the search engines’ revenue, reforestation projects would be run around the world. Ever since then, Ecosia has been growing rapidly.
They have reportedly planted more than 90 million trees around the world and have also built a solar farm. According to the company’s claim, they take away CO2 every time you use the search engine.
How it works is just like any other search engine. Advertisers pay Ecosia to put ads on top of the search results users get. Whenever you click on any of those ads, the search engine gets paid by the advertisers who have their ads on prime positions.
The ads are based on your data and your search history. If you browse for a fashion brand you will get multiple options also including sustainable fashion spots. The top results you get are the ones that are paid adverts.
Once you click on the ads, 80 percent of the amount the search engine gets paid, after deducting expenses, goes to reforestation projects.
After the deduction of the expenses, 80 percent of the profits go to planting trees and also biodiversity hotspots. Now according to Ecosia, these hotspots are crucial to investing in as they have almost 1500 species and 70 percent are diminishing.
Is It A Scam?
With the given numbers, even if they look exaggerated, we have to buy them as it is not a public company. So currently this company is not being audited by independent bodies and we have to believe the numbers on the website.
Ecosia is also a certified B-Corporation and was granted the honor back in 2014. B-Corporations are those that meet the high standards of environmental and social performance and also balance profits and purpose of the venture.
With Ecosia your data is totally safe and your privacy does not get affected just like with other browsers.
Although some of your data is used only to optimize search engines and show you ads according to the users’ data. The data is totally SSL encrypted and is safe from the use of any third party.
What Is OceanHero?
OceanHero is also an online search engine that allows you to remove plastic from the ocean by just browsing. OceanHero is a Google Chrome extension that makes it a lot easier for people to use.
Your data remains safe with OceanHero and the only data that is used is to optimize your search experience. The data is SSL encrypted and you get the ads that coordinate with your search history.
Advertisers pay OceanHero to display their ads on prime search spots. Once you click on those ads, OceanHero gets paid and the profit helps in removing plastic from oceans around the world.
Every 5 searches you make 1 bottle of plastic is removed from the ocean. This search engine was officially launched recently in 2019. In the first working month, they collected 12,089 bottles through 60,445 searches on the search engine.
Is It A Scam?
Based on the internet reviews and the website itself, OceanHero does not look fraudulent at all. It has partnered with Plastic Bank which does the plastic cleaning from the ocean. Now the partnership here is pretty legit so there is no doubting the work this search engine is doing.
As for the Chrome extension whether it has malware or not, so far the reviews have stated nothing of such sort. OceanHero does take some of your data but only to optimize the search results you get.
The extension is totally safe to use and operates just like any other search engine.
The head office of this company is in Berlin and operates in many parts of the world like the US, Indonesia, South Africa, Poland, Ukraine, Germany, and the UK.
So by the looks of it, you have a browser that contributes to cleaning oceans every time you use it. Is it a scam? No, OceanHero is not a scam certainly and there is no evidence of it being one on the internet as well.
Which One Is Better?
Ecosia vs OceanHero – both of the search engines have a goal of society’s betterment and making this planet safe.
The goals are not corrupted and both companies have sufficient evidence supporting the work they have been doing. Both have their own ways of contributing to the planet’s benefit and giving you the best search engine experience.
You can always use one for general browsing and one for your school but in the end, this contribution solely is not enough.
The search engine creators are doing their part and other than browsing you can also work sustainable living. Opt for green-friendly products, go for zero-waste packaging, and use less plastic.
According to some reviews on Reddit, you may also see that people would prefer these search engines to merge. The idea is that you won’t have to choose anymore but you can always use both at the same time.
Clicking on links and making sure that you also go for green-friendly living solutions is the only way to make a difference for the long-term impact on our planet.