Are you looking to help the environment, but not sure where to start? Maybe you’re short on time as well… The good news is, today’s ever-connected world of technology makes it easy to give back to the environment with no added work on your part. Just try out one of these web browsers or apps and watch as your day-to-day activities turn effortlessly into environmental benefits!
Ecosia is a free web browser that can easily be added to your existing search engine – for example, added to Google Chrome. The advertising profits generated by all searches through Ecosia are used to plant trees. The browser has some other great benefits as well. Every month the company publishes their financial reports, so they’re completely transparent about exactly where the income from searches goes. Their search servers also run on 100% renewable energy, and each search also removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Lastly, Ecosia respects privacy – they don’t sell your data to advertisers and don’t use third-party trackers. To date, there have been over 100 million trees planted with Ecosia searches!
OceanHero is another great web browser that is helping the environment. They focus on saving the world’s oceans from plastic pollution and preventing the destruction of ocean habitats. For every 5 searches on OceanHero, 1 plastic bottle is removed from oceans. Since its creation, OceanHero has recovered over 8 million plastic bottles from the world’s oceans. That’s a pretty impressive track record for a free add-on!
Interested in a different environmental cause? giveWater is a free web browser that gives back and provides clean drinking water to people in need around the world. Just like other charitable web browsers and web extensions, giveWater generates revenue from paid web ads and then distributes the profits to charities that support their cause. They work directly with Living Water International and Water.org to distribute drinking water. giveWater is not currently very transparent about how much of their profit goes to their charitable partners, although they claim they will publish their monthly contributions in the future. So if complete transparency is important to you, check out another browser (like Ecosia, above).
Trying to get work done, but finding yourself constantly distracted by the temptations of phone apps or the internet? Forest is a free productivity app that lets you set timers for how long you’d like to focus. As long as you stay off your phone, a virtual tree grows, and you earn coins. But be careful – if you leave the Forest app to check messages, social media or the internet, your baby tree withers and dies. The best part about Forest is that once you earn 2,500 coins, you can exchange them to plant real trees. The app is partnered with Trees for the Future to plant trees in Africa in areas where they’re most needed. Users of the app have planted over 850,000 trees so far! Forest also has a browser extension for Google Chrome that helps you focus on your computer, too.
Sweatcoin is another app that rewards you for things you’re already doing. The app uses your phone GPS to count your daily steps and converts them into coins which can be exchanged for actual goods, services, and products that are affiliated with the app. But what’s even better is that Sweatcoin is now allowing users to contribute to charities. Sweatcoin’s website claims they contribute to environmental, humanitarian and animal preservation causes. The app currently allows users to choose one of three causes – planting trees in Madagascar (in partnership with KaseMe and Offset Earth), preserving indigenous lands and culture in Ecuador and Peru (in partnership with Mindrise and Pachamama Alliance), or ocean conservation and protection (in partnership with Lonely Whale to prevent plastic pollution).
There are so many these great options to give back to eco-friendly causes with little to no effort on your part. What are you waiting for? Get your tech working for you, and the environment, today!