At the beginning of the year, my sister told me that she was using this new search engine called Ecosia. She was thrilled to be able to help the environment by planting trees while she browsed the Internet. She got my attention right away and I immediately started my research. I was so used to using Google that I thought I would never change search engines, but having the ability to contribute to a great cause without really doing much was a no brainer. So, I switched to Ecosia last year, and so far I've helped plant 1219trees!
What is Ecosia?
Ecosia is a search engine that uses its profits from search ad revenue to fund reforestation projects in the world’s most threatened biodiversity hotspots. We are on a mission to plant 1 billion trees by 2020. By sharing Ecosia with your company, school, university or organization, you can help us reach this goal and fight the effects of climate change.
Interview with Nikki Maksimovic, Ecosia's UK Manager
Mindfully Augmented: How do you foresee growing a billion trees at the current rate of growth?
Nikki Maksimovic: In order to reach our goal, we certainly need to keep growing and at an increased rate. This means gaining more and more users. Marketing efforts will be crucial, on top of more great organic growth! We have worked very hard over the past year to make sure that our users are updated on the progress of the tree planting projects, and we focus on sharing inspiring and important stories from the people involved in the projects across the world. This is hugely important to us as we want to show our users the impact that they are having and to keep them inspired and aware of the global issues and, crucially, solutions we have.
MA: What's the growth rate so far?
Nikki: To give you an idea of our growth rate: Ecosia was founded in 2009. Just over a year ago, we reached 4 million trees planted. Two weeks ago, that figure was 10 million. We are hoping to hit 25 million by the end of the year. Feel free to take a look through our business reports for more concrete numbers.
MA: How are you getting more users? Is it just word of mouth?
Nikki: Organic growth is a huge factor - people sharing our content across social media, or indeed just telling their friends by word of mouth! We have recently also been doing some paid marketing over Facebook. We also work with influencers, in particular in France, and reach out to the press occasionally.
MA: Are there any other new emerging technologies you might add to help Ecosia's mission?
Nikki: We are constantly assessing how we can give our users the best possible experience, including looking into new features we can add. For the time being, our focus is on improving search experience and growing our project portfolio and user base.