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Ecosia and making the switch

KeromeKerome Certainty is the enemy of wonderThe Continent Veteran

I saw that the Ecosia search engine is now available as a default setting on all Apple iPhones and iPads, so I did a little investigating. Basically they use the money that their search engine generates — revenues from ads — to plant trees and help the planet, and they’ve already planted a hundred million of them.

In short, I was really impressed. They do the right things with privacy, transparency, and the projects that they work on seem really impressive. The search results come from Microsoft’s Bing engine, which means that they are not that much worse than Google, and I have found it really easy to switch.

JeffreyBunksShoshin1lobster

Comments

  • I use startpage, brave browser with ecosia as my second/backup search engine

    https://www.startpage.com/

    Kerome
  • What are the privacy policy differences between Ecosia and Duckduckgo?

    I stopped using Chrome and Google because of their terrible policies and a friend spoke wonders of Duckduckgo. I would not mind to switch to Ecosia if their privacy policies are similar and, on top of that, they are planting trees.

    I have to admit though...when I'm pretty lost... and I need clear indications... I use...Google Maps.... :angry:

  • KeromeKerome Certainty is the enemy of wonder The Continent Veteran

    Maybe this will answer some of your questions in more detail:

    https://blog.ecosia.org/ecosia-privacy-data/

    コチシカ
  • "This podcast interview features Dominik, a developer and the tech lead for Ecosia’s search team. He talks about why privacy matters, and how Ecosia’s privacy policy compares with that of other search engines, such as Google or DuckDuckGo." :pleased:

    Thank you! I will listen to it in one hour while I have my lunch:)

  • KeromeKerome Certainty is the enemy of wonder The Continent Veteran

    @コチシカ said:
    I stopped using Chrome and Google because of their terrible policies and a friend spoke wonders of Duckduckgo.

    There are other good reasons to avoid Chrome if you have a Mac. I came across this recently

    https://chromeisbad.com/

    Which details some of the invasive things Chrome does to the OS which cause significant problems. Some people have even gone so far as to call it ‘malware’.

    @lobster said:
    I use startpage, brave browser with ecosia as my second/backup search engine

    Yeah quite a few people seem to be turned on to Brave Browser these days, I have heard some good things about it.

  • I have started using Firefox with DuckDuckGo once again. I'm also transitioning from Gmail to ProtoMail.

    Thanks Kerome. I will check the website, but I'm not surprised... lately Google -just like Facebook & co- aren't bringers of good news regarding online privacy...

  • KeromeKerome Certainty is the enemy of wonder The Continent Veteran

    @lobster said:
    I use startpage

    Yes StartPage is good also from a privacy point of view. I’m not quite sure how all the privacy policies compare between StartPage, Ecosia and DuckDuckGo, they all make a point of saying they try hard to do the right thing for privacy. But I don’t mind giving Ecosia some of my data, I view it as a donation to a good cause.

    If you think of it, there are so few ways in which we as individual human beings can help the planet. We separate our garbage, eat biological/organic food where we can, don’t eat meat, recycle things occasionally. But still when I come across something pro-active I can do, like using Ecosia for search, I add it to the list.

    If you use Google, you’re giving away your data and your share in the billions of dollars of data and advertising industry. If you use StartPage or DuckDuckGo, you keep that data private and give them some advertising revenue. But Ecosia does something more... I think they are a wonderful company.

  • KeromeKerome Certainty is the enemy of wonder The Continent Veteran
    edited February 26

    It’s funny, I told something like 20 of my friends about Ecosia via Whatsapp, and only two of them got back to me to tell me they had watched the video and had changed their default search engine. I wonder if people care enough about climate change.

    But this made me feel better...

  • The concept seems simple enough: If I use Google, the ad money goes into Google's pockets. Does Google already have almost enough money? If I use Ecosia, the ad money goes for environmental causes. Is there EVER enough money for environmental causes?

    After I read this thread, I put it on my work computer, and I don't like it. Maybe Google is just really, really good. Or maybe I'm just used to Google after all these years and I'll adjust. I'm not ready to put up with it yet on my iMac and iPhone. We'll see.

    If advertising companies are paying the searching companies to place ads in the search results, and as a result of me looking at the ads money changes hands, it seems like I'm probably disadvantaged somehow in that transaction, but is it as simple as someone else paying for ads to be in my field of view or are there other impacts? And if internet privacy, or lack of privacy, also just results in me seeing more or different ads, do I have a reason to care?

  • KeromeKerome Certainty is the enemy of wonder The Continent Veteran
    edited February 28

    It takes a little getting used to, there are areas where Google is just better. I find myself going back to Google to do a search maybe one time in twenty. Things like if you ask a conversational question Google will often direct you to Reddit or StackExchange for an answer where someone else has asked almost exactly the same question.

    But most of the time Ecosia’s answers are pretty good, and I’m happy to use it. So far I’ve planted 119 trees, that’s worth something, and I’m very willing to deal with a minor discomfort for it. Google has more money than they know what to do with, they start big projects like Stadia and when it isn’t an immediate success they just reassign the staff and look like they are going to license the tech to someone else.

  • KeromeKerome Certainty is the enemy of wonder The Continent Veteran

    This is also an interesting initiative, Treecard which is a MasterCard debit card that uses its fees to plant trees via Ecosia. One tree for every 60 dollars that you spend via the card.

    https://www.treecard.org/

  • I found an app called Forest. I helps you study and monitor your progress while growing an artifitial tree in your phone. Haha. At the same time, if you subscribe (1,99-2,99 euros) you can also help them support many different causes. I will try it the free app and if it is good, I will definitively consider the investment. Regarding my browser, I'm still sticking to Duck. I have also learnt that, nevertheless, if you aren't using a VPN hider your data can still be tracked... don't know what to say. I have to be honest and say I'm not very sure what is true or not :lol:

  • KeromeKerome Certainty is the enemy of wonder The Continent Veteran
    edited March 19

    The reason I like Ecosia is because it is free to the end user, they are taking the business areas where people are making money off their position, like finance and search, and starting up ecologically driven, ethical alternatives in that space. I think it is very worthy, they do good work, and their process stands up to investigation if you look at the financials that they publish.

    I’m up to 145 trees now, most of it from my iPad. Not bad for a month and a half...

    @コチシカ said:
    I have also learnt that, nevertheless, if you aren't using a VPN hider your data can still be tracked... don't know what to say.

    Some ISP’s sell data about their customers to advertising companies, for example T-Mobile in the US. They track the websites you visit by looking at your internet traffic, and the only way to get around that is to use a VPN.

    But to be honest I am not worried, I don’t use the internet for anything illegal. Privacy is important, but not as important as some other things.

    lobster
  • KeromeKerome Certainty is the enemy of wonder The Continent Veteran

    Honestly, I am tempted to go and apply for a job at Ecosia, I feel that motivated about what they are doing. It would mean moving house to Berlin and maybe having to learn German, but I feel about ready for a new adventure. It would be good for me, and I think I can turn my CV into a pretty good pitch at a producer or product manager kind of position.

  • コチシカコチシカ Veteran
    edited April 16

    If you move to Berlin, get ready for the HOUSING-HELL (regarding finding a flat; and then finding a flat with Anmeldung (Register - compulsory to work / stay here)). It took me 2 years to find a "legal" and "decent" flat for a good price. If you want to pay 750-1000euros for a subletted room, then that's a lot easier. Not trying to demotivate you, but really, it is the hardest thing / challenge about moving to Berlin. The rest are advantages: bicycle friendly, multicultural, plenty of Buddhist temples (including a stupa in F'hain district), and lots of sight-seeing / urban exploring, parks...

    But I can help you out if you ever need any "assistance". I'm very familiar with the German authorities and my German is decent. I've been 'ere since 2017.

    Best of luck following your dreams!

  • KeromeKerome Certainty is the enemy of wonder The Continent Veteran

    You make it sound as bad as the Netherlands... they basically forgot to build houses after the last credit crisis, and now there is a nationwide shortage.

  • KeromeKerome Certainty is the enemy of wonder The Continent Veteran

    So there are an estimated two trillion trees on the planet, and Ecosia have planted 126m more. That means they have added 0.005% more trees. It’s a small fraction but it has been speeding up over the last few years.

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