I just came across a really amazing website quite by accident when my name showed up there. It wasn’t even one of my eco-friendly articles.
It’s a search engine from a company based out of Australia. The engine is called Ecocho (pronounced “ee-coh-cho”), which loosely translates to meaning “environmentally super” - and I would have to agree. Their tagline is “You search. We grow trees.” What that means is, whenever someone uses the Ecocho search engine, advertising money is generated from that search. Ecocho takes their ad revenue and spends it on buying carbon offset credits from the Global Carbon Exchange. Those credits fund tree planting projects. Furthermore, Ecocho is “able to guarantee that the trees stay where they are for 100 years, as the New South Wales government enforces this time regulation for all participating land owners.”
They list the number of trees they have planted right on the homepage. To date the number is 7550, which according to their calculations would have taken about 15,000 searches. And those searches in turn should have removed 15 tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, since they state that 1000 searches=1 ton removed.
They have a way to alert your friends to the service. You can change the page to black. They state that their searches are comparable to Yahoo.com searches. And they provide add-ons for Firefox and Internet Explorer, too. I won’t lie, I am a hardcore Google fan, but I just may be switching search engines, at least some of the time.