Is the app Ecosia as legitimate as it seems?


Glory Trelfa

Junior Mackenzie Hamilton using Ecosia.

Science teacher Mr. Ivan Ferron said he was very interested in the app Ecosia after hearing of its benefits to the environment and the planet in general.

“This is definitely something I’m going to check out. I’m going to look this up as soon as I get home,” said science teacher Mr. Ivan Ferron, “If the app works as well as it claims and plants trees in the process, what’s not to love about it?”

That’s right: an app that helps get work done while planting trees. Ecosia is a search engine based in Berlin, Germany that claims to work as smoothly as Google. It brings up answers in a matter of milliseconds and claims to keep all searches private by simply not keeping track of users’ search histories or email accounts like Google does.

“Well we [students of Triton] probably wouldn’t be able to use the app for school because it doesn’t have anything like Google Classroom or Google Docs, and it doesn’t have email like Google,” said junior Mackenzie Hamilton, “All that aside, though, the app as a simple search engine works really well. It’s very fast and I don’t ever see many ads.”

I saw references to Ecosia as far back as 2011. A site that isn’t legitimate wouldn’t last that long.”

— Mr. Timothy Jepson

Being a good search engine isn’t the only positive thing about Ecosia, however; the website claims that eighty percent of all proceeds are donated to nonprofit organizations dedicated to reforestation and conservationism. In layman’s terms: Ecosia claims to plants trees in countries that need them the most, including Peru, Nicaragua, Spain, Morocco, Tanzania, and many others.

This business idea seems to draw lots of people in considering the number of trees planted – which is displayed on the bottom of the home page – has recently reached 66 million and continues to grow. Even if a tree is, supposedly, planted with every 45 or so searches, this only furthers the point of continuous daily usage rates. But is the organization of Ecosia as legitimate as many wish to believe?

Science teacher Mr. Timothy Jepson had never heard of the app but decided to do some research about it. His overall consensus was that Ecosia seems legitimate.

“I saw references to Ecosia as far back as 2011. A site that isn’t legitimate wouldn’t last that long. [I also found that] it is a Bing offshoot search engine. Bing wouldn’t stake their reputation on a failure. Lastly, if it is in fact German, it is probably legit. Internet regulations in Germany are stronger than in the US,” said Jepson.