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What if you could fight deforestation while browsing the Internet? Well, now you can! Introducing Ecosia.

Ecosia is a search engine that uses ad revenue to plant trees all over the world, particularly in Burkina Faso. Founded in December 2009 by German entrepreneur Christian Koll, Ecosia has two million active users and has planted 3,523,742 trees, thus far! “I knew I wanted to work on a product that would benefit the user as well as society and the environment,” Kroll said in an email to ThinkProgress. “So I started traveling the world for inspiration and taught myself some programming.” 

According to their website, it takes 12 seconds to plant a tree and only costs 28 cents per tree. The site gives at least 80 percent of its profits to its tree-planting effort. With an area of forest the size of two football field cleared every second somewhere in the world, Ecosia is a vital player in repopulating our planet with trees.

It is no secret that deforestation is having a major impact on the planet’s ability to mitigate climate change, but this practice also destroys ecosystems and strips animals of their natural habitats – approximately 137 species of plants, animals and insects become extinct every day. That’s 50,000 species a year! The effects of deforestation are profound and have rippling consequences. To break that down a bit more – consider this, an estimated 50,000 orangutans have been killed due to deforestation, and 90-95 percent of Brazil’s rainforests have been destroyed on the Atlantic coast. Those are just a few of examples of many.

So next time you want to scour the web for all the cute cat videos out there, why not plant some trees in the process? With just a click, you’ll help them generate the ad revenue needed to plant a tree. To learn more, click here.

Image source: Malene Thyssen/Wikimedia Commons

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