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Social Good

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Ecosia is essentially the reason I quit using Google search and haven’t looked back.

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Okay, maybe I look back every now and again but for the most part, I’ve completely ditched Google search in exchange for Ecosia search.

Here’s Why

Ecosia is the search engine that plants trees. Ecosia’s tree planting streamline allows you to help world reforestation by surfing the web as you normally would.

No complicated set ups. No campaigns. No donating.

Just searching.

Is it too good to be true? How does one do so much good in the world whilst sitting upon ones arse, scouring the web for this week’s trending Drake memes?

The answer is simple: Mo’ Money Mo’ Trees

Ecosia donates 80% of their surplus ad revenue to a robust tree planting program with WeForest and Entrepreneurs Without Borders. You know those ads that appear at the top of your search results?

Ecosia-the-hashtag-heroEvery time someone clicks on them Ecosia earns money (which you can transparently see here). You do the searching and they do the planting, it’s that simple.

Slactivism and Cause Shaming

Critics of Ecosia accuse them of encouraging “Slacktivism”, as if to say doing good in the world must always require actual blood, sweat, tears, and checkbooks in order to be valid.

Slacktivism = the lazy man’s activism.

I beg to differ. I think this type of involvement is what’s wanted and needed today. It takes a stroke of genius to take a human behavior that people will inevitably be doing anyway and develop a seamless way to tangibly solve a global problem.

Is that not what sustainability is all about? 

Problems are growing faster than we know how to fix them. Why condemn those that create new systems and the advocates that allow them to work? That in itself is counterintuitive.

In addition, the trees must still be planted, there is sweat there, money must go to the organizations, there’s a checkbook there; without the “slackers” the rest of the system would never work.

I see Slacktivism as a means to an end when it comes to what I like to call cause shaming.

CAUSE SHAMING IS THE IDEA THAT ONE’S OWN CAUSE IS MORE NOBLER THAN THE NEXT, DISCOURAGING THE DIVERSIFICATION OF FURTHER DO-GOODING.

I’m sure you have been around or experienced cause shaming first hand at some point in your life.

Here’s a common example:

Do-Gooder: “Hey I really like X charity, I’ve been giving to them for over a year. They help people in Y country do Z amazing thing =D! Want to get in involved?”

Potential Do-Gooder: “X charity? Why not help the people right here in your own back yard!? We have Y problems here in this country. No thanks”

Do-Gooder: “Um….okay?”

Cause Shaming.

Snapshot in Ecosia headquarters in Berlin. #HEROInterviews episode coming next week to The Hashtag HERO TV! Snapshot in Ecosia headquarters in Berlin. #HEROInterviews episode coming next week to The Hashtag HERO TV!

If people want to do good, why not let them do good however they see fit? The worst is when someone cause shames while they themselves do very little for anyone other than themselves.

I see cause shaming as another excuse, a reason to justify doing less as opposed to more. Sorry not sorry but ain’t no body got time fo’ dat.

Heroic people do what needs to be done and keep it moving. While everyone else is bickering about what’s most important we’ve already made multiple steps toward solving multiple problems.

I have ZERO shame when I tell people I’ve so far helped to plant 160+ trees thanks to Ecosia. If someone has a problem with it I’ll tell them to take a hike in the forest I’ve just created in Burkina Faso.

Your Defining Moment

What do you stand to gain by helping google accrue millions in revenue? An overpriced, over exclusive Google Glass creation?

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Ecosia currently plants approximately 1 tree every 13 seconds. Can you imagine the impact we could have if every time someone “Googled” something they used Ecosia instead? 

STOP and really think about that.

Deforestation accounts for 6-17% of global CO2 emissions to the atmosphere.

CO2 levels are higher than they’ve ever been, exceeding the safe zone permanently never to return in our lifetime.

Every year we deforest 6% of the world’s trees while we reforest only 1.5%. Ecosia aims to increase the reforestation percentage. They’ve so far planted just over 3 Million trees toward an ambitious goal of 1 Billion by the year 2020.

What’s it going to take?

It’s going to take users caring enough to take the time to install a free browser plugin. That’s what you can do right here, right now.

It’s going to take you telling your friends how incredibly cool you are for ditching Google.

It’s going to take man, woman and child power on multiple devices.

This is what it takes to be a part of the solution.

Do you have what it takes?

Assuming you’re reading this post from a wifi connection of sorts I’m going to venture to say that you have everything it takes.

Replace your default search engine to Ecosia by clicking here. It’s quick, painless and will do good far beyond your digital world.

Not to mention the browser extension icon is just adorable!

Tweet me a screenshot of your Ecosia tree count with the hashtag #HeroesUseEcosia to enter to win in our upcoming giveaway! Follow me @TheHashtagHERO on Periscope & Twitter for more details.

At the Ecosia headquarters in Berlin with Jacey (Head of PR)! Follow the adventures @TheHashtagHERO At the Ecosia headquarters in Berlin with Jacey (Head of PR)! Follow the adventures @TheHashtagHERO

up, Up and AWAY!

Super Ivi, The Hashtag HERO

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