Frequently asked questions

General

What is Ecosia and why should I use it?

Ecosia is the search engine that plants trees. With Ecosia, you can help the environment, improve lives and strengthen communities just by searching the web. Ecosia is even 100% CO2-neutral. To learn more, please visit this page.

How do I set Ecosia as my default search engine?

It's super easy: just follow the few simple steps listed here.

Who is behind Ecosia?

The search engine Ecosia belongs to Berlin-based Ecosia GmbH, which is a German social business owned by Christian Kroll and Tim Schumacher. To learn more about the folks behind the scenes, have a look here.

How much money does Ecosia earn? How much does it donate?

Ecosia has two main sources of income, EcoAds and EcoLinks. We give at least 80 percent of our surplus income to our tree-planting partners. For proof of Ecosia's donations, please have a look here. The remaining 20% of our surplus income is reserved for future Ecosia products. In the meantime, it gets invested into renewable energy projects via Germany's first sustainable bank GLS.

How do you neutralize a search's CO2 emissions?

Ecosia neutralizes all CO2 emissions related to an Ecosia web search. To offset our emissions, we use a Gold-Standard project in Madagascar run by our partner myclimate. To learn more about the project, watch this video.

Why doesn't Ecosia use a black background to save energy?

There was a time before flatscreens and laptops when large desktop monitors required slightly less energy to display the color black, as opposed to other colors like green or white. This is no longer the case with modern LCD technology.

How do I get Ecosia to support my socially, environmentally and economically sustainable project?

To ensure maximum positive impact, Ecosia is currently focusing its efforts on just one beneficiary project at a time. But stay tuned to our social media channels including Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr for news about any changes in policy.

Search

Where do your search results come from?

Ecosia's search results are powered by Yahoo! Hosted Search (YHS).

What are search tags?

Ecosia search tags give you quick access to external search functions such as images, maps and YouTube. To use them, just enter your search term as usual with the tag at the end. For example, if you enter "Berlin #maps" into the Ecosia search box, you'll get Google Maps results for the term "Berlin". To learn more about Ecosia search tags, watch this video.

How does Ecosia handle search and data privacy?

One of Ecosia's goals is to be a 100% data-private search engine. We believe that an individual's personal data, including their search queries, are their own business and no one else's.

But the policies of our independent partners may differ from our own, which limits our ability to make promises regarding privacy. We are still required to send some personal data (e.g. your IP address or browser type) to our search partner Yahoo, who may analyze this data. Regardless, we promise to continue improving Ecosia's privacy situation whenever and where ever possible. For a complete rundown of Ecosia's most current privacy policy, please have a look here.

How do I have a link removed from Ecosia's search results?

Yahoo! Hosted Search provides the results that appear on Ecosia's search engine results page (SERP). If you feel that a link has been indexed in error, you or your system administrator can follow the steps listed here to hide your site from the index.

How do I uninstall Ecosia?

You can find instructions for uninstalling the Ecosia Extension or Add-On for your browser here:

Tree Counter & Planting

What does it mean when you say "You've helped plant X trees"?

The funds generated by Ecosia help to plant several trees every minute. When you do a search with Ecosia, we display a personalized tree counter, which shows you how many trees you have already helped plant. Rather than showing you how many trees you have planted all on your own, the counter shows you how many times you have contributed to the planting of a new tree based on the current cost of each tree.

Why does my tree count disappear every time I restart my browser or my computer?

Your browser might be set to delete cookies every time it restarts. Check your browser's settings for the option to save cookies (Ecosia's are 100% safe). Some browsers even let you specify the sites from which you'd like to keep cookies. You can do an Ecosia search for "cookies other" to learn how to customize your cookie settings.

If you've already lost your tree count, you can contact us here for help.

Supporting Ecosia

How can I support Ecosia?

For starters, you can set Ecosia as your default search engine. After that, you can help spread the word about Ecosia with any or all of these fine activities. Thanks in advance!

How can I do even more?

You can apply to join the Ecosia Ambassador Program! This is a place where Ecosia power users, just like you, can volunteer their time to help grow the movement. You have access to free Ecosia merchandise, a direct line to our team in Berlin and an opportunity to network with other Ecosians around the globe in a private group. The program is designed to work around your schedule. Learn more here.

How can I integrate an Ecosia search bar or banner into my website?

We're currently working on a technical solution for this request. Send a message labeled "General question" here, and we will let you know as soon as search bars and/or banners are available.

Are there Ecosia brochures or other offline informational materials available for me to distribute?

Please visit our Share page or get in touch with us directly if you'd like to share or distribute offline informational material.

Is there Ecosia merchandise available?

Yes! There's all kinds of fun swag available from our CafePress shop. If you're looking for promotional materials for an event or other purpose, please get in touch directly.

Advertisements on Ecosia

What are EcoAds?

In some cases, Ecosia displays search ads above the normal search results. These ads are text links to websites (i.e. businesses), which pay for each click by users. The ads are delivered to you by Yahoo!, who pay Ecosia a share of the revenue generated via these ads. Ecosia then uses at least 80 percent of its surplus income to plant trees. To learn more about EcoAds please watch this video.

Can I support Ecosia by randomly clicking on EcoAds?

Thanks, but don't do it. You should only click on search ads in which you are genuinely interested: arbitrary clicks could harm the advertiser and possibly even Ecosia. There are also algorithms active, which are designed to detect fake clicks and invalidate them.

Does an EcoAd mean the products or businesses I'm looking at are sustainable?

No. EcoAds appear for all kinds of products and services — not just the sustainable ones. The designation EcoAd only means that a few cents per click are donated to Ecosia.

Where have EcoLinks gone?

EcoLinks, which let you donate to Ecosia for free when you shop the web, are now available as a separate browser extension. This extension expands EcoLinks' functionality to several other search engines, including Google. It is currently available for Firefox and Chrome.

How do I get listed in Ecosia's search results?

Once your website is published, Yahoo!'s web crawler should automatically index it within a short period of time. You or your system administrator can also find out more here about Yahoo!'s recommendations for search engine optimization (SEO).

How can I advertise on Ecosia?

Bing and Yahoo! provide Ecosia with EcoAds, or the search ads that appear within our search results. If you would like your business to appearing as an EcoAd, you can register with Yahoo! ads here.

How do I get my ad blocker extension or add-on to make an exception for Ecosia?

If you've installed an ad blocker extension, we respect your decision to search and browse the web ad free! But Ecosia earns money for tree planting from advertisements, which is why we ask you to "whitelist" Ecosia domains on your ad blockers. Here's how:

Firefox

  1. On ecosia.org, right-click in the blank area at the top of your browser, make sure that the "Add-on Bar" is checked and then click the:
    • AdBlock icon and select, "Disable on ecosia.org"
    • AdBlock Plus icon and select, "Disable on ecosia.org"
    • Ghostery icon and select "Whitelist site"
    • Privacy Badger icon, click the "gear" symbol and select "Disable on current page"
  2. Check to make sure disabling worked by visiting www.ecosia.org and running a test search ("shoes") to see whether your ad blocking software disables itself (Adblock Plus and Ghostery toolbar icons should turn grey, and AdBlock should turn green with a 'thumbs up').

Chrome

  1. Right-click one of the icons in the top right-hand corner of the browser window and click "Manage"
  2. Find your ad blocker(s) and choose the link "Options":
    • AdBlock
      1. Choose "Customize" from the top menu
      2. Under Stop blocking ads choose "Show ads on a webpage or domain"
      3. Replace the text in the field that appears with "http://www.ecosia.org" and click "OK!"
    • AdBlock Plus
      1. Choose the tab "Whitelisted domains"
      2. In the first field enter "ecosia.org" (Note: Leave http:// or https:// out of the URL), and click "+ Add domain"
    • Ghostery
      1. In the section Blocking Options on the left side of the screen, click on the tab "Whitelisted Sites".
      2. Enter "ecosia.org" into the first box, click Add and then Save.
    • Privacy Badger
      1. At www.ecosia.org, click on the Privacy Badger icon in the top right corner of your browser window.
      2. Click disable Privacy Badger for this site.
  3. Check to make sure the steps worked by visiting www.ecosia.org and running a test search to see whether your ad blocking software disables itself (Adblock Plus and Ghostery toolbar icons should turn grey, and AdBlock should turn green with a 'thumbs up').

Internet Explorer

  1. On ecosia.org, right-click in the blank area at the top of the browser
  2. Make sure that "Status bar" is checked
  3. In the top right-hand corner of the browser window, click:
    • AdBlock icon and select, "Disable on ecosia.org"
    • AdBlock Plus icon and select, "Disable on ecosia.org"
    • Ghostery icon and select "Whitelist site"
  4. Check to make sure the steps worked by visiting www.ecosia.org and running a test search to see whether your ad blocking software disables itself (Adblock Plus and Ghostery toolbar icons should turn grey, and AdBlock should turn green with a 'thumbs up').

Opera

  1. On ecosia.org, find your ad blocker icon(s), right-click and choose Options:
    • AdBlock
      1. Choose "Customize" from the menu across the top of the webpage
      2. Under Stop blocking ads choose "Show ads on a webpage or domain"
      3. Replace the text in the field that appears with "http://www.ecosia.org" and click "OK!"
    • AdBlock Plus
      1. Choose the tab "Whitelisted domains"
      2. In the first field enter "ecosia.org" (Note: Leave http:// or https:// out of the URL), and click "+ Add domain"
    • Ghostery
      1. In the section Blocking Options on the left side of the screen, click on the tab "Whitelisted Sites".
      2. Enter "ecosia.org" into the first box, click Add and then Save.
  2. Check to make sure the steps worked by visiting www.ecosia.org and running a test search to see whether your ad blocking software disables itself (Adblock Plus and Ghostery toolbar icons should turn grey, and AdBlock should turn green with a 'thumbs up').

Safari

  1. On ecosia.org, locate the icon of your ad blocker(s) in the Safari toolbar
    • AdBlock
      1. Select "Don't run on pages on this domain"
    • AdBlock Plus
      1. Choose "Options"
      2. Choose the tab "Whitelisted domains"
      3. In the first field enter "ecosia.org" (Note: Leave http:// or https:// out of the URL), and click "+ Add domain"
    • Ghostery
      1. Select "Whitelist Site"
  2. Check to make sure the steps worked by visiting www.ecosia.org and running a test search to see whether your ad blocking software disables itself (Adblock Plus and Ghostery toolbar icons should turn grey, and AdBlock should turn green with a 'thumbs up').