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The Ecosia Project – planting trees without getting your hands dirty!

(Join the movement using this link: Ecosia UvA)

Aren’t we all concerned about the environment but sometimes struggle to bring about change and positively contribute to the planet? This is where we, The Green Office Ecosia Project, comes in! A few months ago, the Green Office took on the mission to bring the eco search engine Ecosia to our campuses, following multiple universities that have already succeeded making the switch from Google to Ecosia.

By implementing this search engine at the UvA, we wish to make our university more sustainable and inspire more people to join this movement! Created in 2009 by Christian Kroll, Ecosia has now over 15 million active users and has already planted over 118 million trees around the world. Doesn’t this sound amazing?!

@EcosiaBlog - image of project in Senegal

While Google seems to be the ultimate search engine nowadays, it doesn’t by far bring the same aspects to the table as Ecosia. The sustainable platform uses 80% of their profits to support tree-planting projects across the globe, doesn’t sell your personal search data to third parties and the best of it all, it runs entirely on renewable energy, meaning that the company is not only carbon-neutral, but carbon-negative.

If Ecosia would be as big as Google, 15% of all global CO2 emissions could be absorbed. Can you imagine the impact it would have on our environment? Currently, Ecosia has over 20 tree-planting projects in various countries around the world.

Multiple projects have been established, amongst others, in Senegal and Rwanda which are countries that have to deal with extreme heat and drought periods. Due to climate change and the constant expansion of the human population, more and more countries, especially poorer ones, suffer from severe drought periods which eventually lead to desertification. On the other hand, Ecosia also has several tree-planting projects in large countries like Brazil which are highly affected by deforestation. Only about 20% of the Atlantic Forest remains. With the support of Ecosia users, the environmental-friendly search engine was able to plant 10.5 million new trees and restored 4745 hectares of land in Brazil over the previous years. Overall, Ecosia’s goal is to protect the plants and restore their habitat, whilst improving the lives of local farmers and the surrounding communities who are often struggling to survive.

Ecosia Project in Lilengo (Burkina Faso)

You might be wondering by now what Ecosia has to do with the Green Office... Well, convinced by the values and the dedication to reforestation of Ecosia, as shortly mentioned before, a small team at the Green office has taken on the mission to bring Ecosia to the UvA campuses!

Inspired by Ecosia on Campus, which is a global, student-led campaign that aims to make Ecosia the default search engine across university campuses all around the world, the team is working hard to make this goal come true at our campuses. Multiple universities such as the University of Bristol or the University of Glasgow have already made the switch. We want to follow their path and do the same! Last October, together with Ecosia, the team was able to create a link that is specifically made for UvA students.

By downloading Ecosia with this special link, all of the searches will be added up, so they receive a monthly overview of how many trees UvA students have planted together by simply using the sustainable search engine. In order to spread the word of their little project and Ecosia itself, the Ecosia team has now their own Instagram account (@amsterdamonecosia) where they upload weekly updates and share inspiring and informative posts about the search engine. Despite the current Covid-19 situation, the team was able to design their own stickers which will be distributed once more people will be allowed to be at the campuses again. As you can probably tell by now, the Ecosia team is very excited to have more and more students on board to plant trees. The best of it all is that you don’t even need to leave the comfort of your bed to make a change!

January tree count using UvA Ecosia link

So, downloading this search engine is basically the simplest thing on earth you can do to have a positive impact on our environment and help people around the world live better lives. It is no more than a tiny lifestyle adjustment which helps protecting the planet and ultimately also us. We would love to see you join us on the movement to make the UvA more sustainable!

So make sure to download the search engine:

And follow us on our Instagram: @amsterdamonecosia Looking forward to having you on board! The GO & the ECOSIA team

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