This has become quite a common find on the web. Ever so often a new website comes up claiming to be good for the environment. Of course, in many cases there is no doubting the good intentions behind the initiative. But I always end up questioning the real reason behind launching such sites. Are they just trying to drive traffic by using your inherent ‘love’ for your planet? Do the creators of such sites drive cars that give them only 17 miles/gallon?
Recently, there was the launch of the Ecosia search engine. The website itself has been up and running for a while now, but a launch (conveniently) timed to coincide with the Copenhagen Climate Change Summit ensures maximum coverage. This site (unlike so many other ‘green’ish sites) has some credibility in that it is endorsed by the WWF.
They claim (through a very amateurish YouTube video) that you can save a few cubic metres of Amazonian rainforest with every search you do. Don’t worry, they have done all the math already. Fact is, you don’t save the Amazon at all by using this search engine, since the math they present is an average. Unless you click on some of their ads and (literally) donate money, you’re better off using your old search engine since the results are powered by Yahoo! & Bing.
The man behind the project – Christian Kroll (who doesn’t have much of an online presence) has already had one flop Eco-search idea called Forestle which didn’t really click outside of his native Germany.
I have to admit I am not a fan of such convoluted ways of making yourself feel good about saving the environment when at the same time you are driving gas guzzlers & buying GM crops grown in Brazil’s cleared forest area. It is initiatives like this that absolve the common man from their duty of recycling and taking care of their immediate surroundings because “oh… I saved half a square meter of rainforest!”.
I expected better from WWF, but what the hell, all everyone wants is money isn’t it?