Make York Green Again

Did you know you can help save the planet from the comfort of quarantine?

Did you know you – and the Uni – can do this by ditching Google?

By switching your search engine to Ecosia, you are helping to fight climate change, provide jobs, and plant trees all across the world.

And at York, a movement is growing to get the University and its students to switch to using Ecosia.

Ecosia is a search engine that generates ad revenue and donates their income to tree planting programmes across the globe. Just like Google, you search on their website and sponsors pay to appear at the top of the list. Unlike Google, it’s positively changing nature and the world we live in.

On the 1st April, Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google and Alphabet, launched #AGreenerGoogle. Remarkably, it wasn’t a joke.

For a company that has made large contributions to climate deniers, their apology for past behaviour and new mandates going forward are an extraordinary move in the right direction. No wonder Extinction Rebellion are promoting this new move (but also their chequered past) on their Instagram.

Whilst this is a reason to celebrate, even if these policies are carried out (and their track record shouldn’t fill you with confidence), they won’t be as green a search engine as Ecosia.

Whilst Google is aiming to be carbon-neutral in 2025, Ecosia is already carbon-negative.

Amazingly, if Ecosia were as big as Google, it could absorb 15% of all global CO2 emissions! That’s enough to offset vehicle emissions worldwide.

By downloading the Ecosia extension using the York link, we can track the number of trees York students are helping to plant and work towards becoming the eighth of seven other unis worldwide to have made the switch.

Alternatively, we have started a petition which you can sign, or you can check out our Facebook and Instagram.

A few friends have raised concerns about switching to Ecosia, so here’s what I told them…

‘Google’s faster and more accurate.’

There’s a fair case for this, but Ecosia is not a poor man’s Google – it’s still a great (and green!) option that is only getting better with time. Besides, if on the rare occasion you find that Google would’ve returned a more accurate search-result, you can simply type #g after any Ecosia search and it will take you to Google. It’s so easy, it makes a few more seconds of scrolling seem completely worth it…

‘It’s too good to be true.’

Ecosia publishes their financial reports every month. From sponsor to seed, Ecosia are scrupulously transparent about their revenue and how it’s used.

Why #YorkOnEcosia During Covid-19?

With summer teaching moving online, you may be asking yourself, why #YorkOnEcosia now?

1) The Uni will re-open eventually! When it does, Ecosia will need us more than ever!

Ecosia’s financial reports show that they have sizable reserves. But upcoming financial reports reveal their revenue is dropping due to COVID-19. The incoming recession means that fewer businesses will support Ecosia in the future.

More than ever, their advertising partners (who fund tree-planting projects) need you to use Ecosia, and to spread the word about the tree-planting search engine.

2) With all of us at home, we’re all on our devices. You as an individual can still download the Ecosia extension using the York link or sign the petition to help lobby the Vice Chancellor.

3) Let’s make some good news!

What do we reckon, can the University of York help with this challenge?