Ecosia’s New Browser Helps You Generate Clean Energy for Earth Day

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Environmentally focused search engine Ecosia has just released what it promises as “the greenest browser on Earth” to mark this year’s Earth Day, with a new way for users to help the planet as they browse the web on their Mac or PC.

Ecosia has offered a version of its browser for the iPhone and iPad for a few years already, following the addition of Ecosia as a default search option in iOS 14.3. However, Ecosia’s iOS browser has had to live within Apple’s constraints on third-party iOS browsers, which means it wasn’t any more environmentally friendly than Safari since it uses the same WebKit engine; instead, the iPhone browser was designed to help folks benefit the planet by using the Ecosia search engine.

The premise of Ecosia search was simple: search engines run on resource-intensive back-end server farms, and it takes a lot of energy to index the entire web, so Ecosia makes sure that its servers are using clean energy. In fact, the whole project is carbon-negative, and Ecosia measures that metric for users by showing them how it helps plant trees every time they conduct a search. While Ecosia uses Bing and Google to provide its results, it offsets this with its own carbon-zero infrastructure while also donating 100% of its profits to the planet.

A Clean Energy Browser

Except in Europe, iPhone and iPad browsers still have to use Safari’s WebKit engine. However, this isn’t the case for Mac browsers, so Ecosia has taken its CO2-negative strategy beyond search to the browser itself with a new green energy browser built on the Chromium engine that aims to operate with as small of a carbon footprint as possible without compromising on features, performance, or security.

The Ecosia Browser effectively adds green energy to the grid every time a user browses. The company notes that it’s committed to generating an additional 25Wh of clean energy per user each day they browse. That’s enough to power a lightbulb for three hours just by surfing the web.

Users can also take advantage of an AI Chat feature powered by OpenAI focused on “greener answers” to respond to queries with climate-focused solutions. A “Partners Shop” built into the browser also provides a sustainable shopping experience, allowing users to support Ecosia’s environmental initiatives at no extra cost.

Launching a browser felt like the natural next step for Ecosia. By expanding our offerings, Ecosia can now offer our community a range of planet-friendly products and user-friendly ways to take shared climate action together, every day. We welcome recent moves like the DMA, but want to give users an even greater opportunity to align their digital choices with their values. Our browser is also another way for them to become more independent from Big Tech. We look forward to seeing how it’s received as we continue to broaden our climate commitments across reforestation, green investments and advocacy.Christian Kroll, Ecosia’s CEO and Founder

Ecosia notes that its search engine has already allowed it to help plant over 200 million trees in more than 35 countries. However, until now, the search engine has still had to run through other browsers, such as Google and Safari, which collectively control nearly 85% of the browser market. Ecosia’s dedicated browser offers what it describes as a more “holistic approach to climate action” since the entire end-to-end experience can now rely on green energy and Ecosia’s clean energy generation to offset carbon emissions.

The Ecosia browser contains all the features you’d expect from a modern desktop web browser, including password management, customizability, and even a built-in ad blocker that’s designed to protect your privacy and reduce energy consumption by preventing the wastage of CPU cycles required to display ads. It’s also optimized for speed, promising to load pages up to three times faster than mainstream browsers.

With recent changes in Europe thanks to the Digital Markets Act, Ecosia is also encouraging iPhone users to switch to its iOS browser , which is now permitted to use its own web engine to help lessen its carbon footprint in the same way as the desktop version.

You can download the Ecosia Browser for macOS and Windows directly from the company’s website. The iPhone/iPad version can be found on the App Store.

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