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Not many of us are environmental fanatics. Most of us can’t even place our own ecological footprint. But that should never stop us from doing our bit for the environment. Today, thanks to the internet we can ‘contribute’ right from our desks, whether it is by increasing our own awareness by learning about climate change or by being part of a campaign needing mass support.
The power of search engines helps us wade through the universe of the web. This vehicle today is also being used as the agent of action to change the way we look at our planet. The environment should concern us all directly, so here are ten search engine services we can use with a click of the mouse to give back to our planet :
Forestle – Save An Acre Of Rainforest
Forestle, powered by Yahoo’s search technology, helps to save 0.1 square meters (0.11 yd²) of rain forest per search.
The ad-revenue generated from the web search goes to The Nature Conservancy which uses it to further the cause of rain forest protection. The company has estimated that an average user does about 1000 searches per year which translates into 100 square meters of conserved rain forest. The realization of your efforts is posted as monthly reports which details the area of rain forests saved.
Znout – The Google Way
If Yahoo is not your scene check out Znout from the same company but with Google behind the search tech. Znout is a Co2 neutral internet search engine. No, the search engine does not spew out Co2 – Znout uses the ad-revenue to buy renewable energy certificates which balances out the carbon footprint caused by Znout.
Green Planet Search – Green & Slick
Green Planet Search is a website designed for your eco-habits. The Flash-driven green website is pleasing to the eye and the scruples as its home made search engine is strictly for eco-search. The website is devoted to environmentally-relevant content – educational, original news, events, blogs, products and reviews.
EcoWho – Towards Eco-Friendliness
EcoWho search indexes nearly 3 million ecologically relevant webpages. Value added offerings include an eco-news section, an ecological glossary, a blog section and an emerging article directory. The website is still under development but the search feature is sound enough.
GreenLinkCentral – Human Edited Green Search
GreenLinkCentral aims to be a one stop information source for everything that is environmental. The websites and links are vetted by the GreenLinkCentral team to ensure significance and quality. On top of the search box you will find three more useful links – Top Searches (for search suggestions), Articles (arranged in blog style categories) and Website Reviews (listing green websites).
Relying on human inputs rather than bots has the disadvantage of moderate results but a cursory glance through them revealed them to be closer to home.
Ecocho – You Search. We Grow Trees
Ecocho offers a simplistic interface but a noble intent. It donates its revenues from advertising to afforestation programs. For every 1000 searches, Ecocho sponsors five trees.
Powered by Yahoo, searches on Ecocho allow the company to buy enough carbon offset credits to remove 1 ton of CO2 from the atmosphere. Results can also be filtered by Region, Language and Document Format.
ClimateGift – A Portal & A Search Engine
ClimateGift is not only a well developed search engine but an ecological portal too. The website partners with other environmental organizations and passes on advertising revenue from user searches to these partners.
When the page loads, the web user can pick any of the organizations on display to be the beneficiary. From this point on, ClimateGift donates 50 percent of the ad-revenue to this non-profit entity every quarter. The website features news, articles and a Tools tab with a few applications loaded.
A logged in user can personalize his homepage with things such as news, weather, sports, entertainment, photos, videos, music, email and even a calculator. For a normal search a log-in is not required.
GreenMaven – Gateway To The Green Web
GreenMaven is a web service which uses Google’s custom search service to collate green news and links from the worldwide web. The search service claims to have mapped over 10,000 websites. It also has a business directory with nearly 4000 listings.
What I liked about the site was its capable search and the ability to delve directly into Digg-ed green articles.
EcoSeek – For Things Green [No Longer Available]
EcoSeek is a bit different from the other search engines listed. It is tuned specifically towards eco-friendly and green products. The service strives to educate all consumers about eco-friendly products, manufacturers and local earth-conscious retailers. A user can search through 13,000 Earth friendly products from 790 retailers.
Searches can be made by category. Though the search feature has a commercial slant, it helps the consumer make informed decisions about a green lifestyle. A free membership allows a user to take part in “˜green auctions’ for some of the products listed on the site.
What do you think of these green initiatives? Do you share the optimism that such web services can preserve a corner of the only place we can call home?
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