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Ditching Google – turning searches into trees

Three Sussex Anthropology students have worked with IT Services to help Sussex students turn their web searches into trees.

From this month, Ecosia has become the default search engine in all Microsoft Edge browsers used by students.

Ecosia is an internet search engine which donates 80% of profits generated through its advertising revenue to conservation organisations. It has over 7 million active users and has planted almost 40 million trees to date.

Founding member of Sussex on Ecosia, Fred Henderson, said: “We’re delighted that Sussex listened to us and took this important step.

“Ecosia is like Google, but ethical. They plant a new tree every 45 searches. Is there a simpler way to make a positive change?

“Word is spreading too – Manchester, Kent and Newcastle universities have started their own campaigns. We hope this will soon be the default search engine at all unis.”

Sussex on Ecosia have been supported by IT Services to raise awareness about Ecosia and change the University’s software policy.

Director of IT, Jason Oliver, said: “I’m really pleased that we’ve been able to support this campaign. Students using Edge on a Sussex PC will now help plant trees every time they search.

“It’s a simple but effective step that will have a real impact around the world. IT Services is proud to be part of the university’s Go Greener campaign and contribute to our ambitious environmental goals. As a department, we’re always looking for ways to cut waste and emissions.

Digital Marketing Manager at Ecosia, Nikki Maksimovic, was delighted to hear the news from Sussex: “We are absolutely thrilled to see Ecosia being used at Sussex University. Thanks to this amazing student campaign we will be able to plant thousands of additional trees in the coming months. Hopefully, many more universities across the country will follow their lead in switching to Ecosia!”

How staff can use Ecosia

Technical issues mean that it’s not currently possible to make Ecosia the default search engine on all staff computers. But it’s easy to install the Ecosia plugin yourself on your work or personal machine.

Install the Ecosia plugin

Go Greener at Sussex

The University of Sussex has begun an ambitious journey to become one of the greenest universities in the UK and is working towards cutting its carbon emissions by 45 percent by 2020. More information.

By: Sean Armstrong
Last updated: Friday, 12 October 2018