The world’s first ‘green’ search engine that offsets carbon emissions with no cost to the user, has launched in New Zealand.
ecocho.co.nz is a site that generates positive environmental gains by sponsoring the growth of up to two trees for every 1000 searches users make using the search engines Yahoo! and Google. A worldwide version is available at www.ecocho.com and an Australian version is available at www.ecocho.com.au.
The site uses custom Google and Yahoo! searches as the foundation for its branded service, and uses the income from advertising to plant trees.
Founder of ecocho, Tim Macdonald said, “In New Zealand alone, web users conduct close to 120 million Internet searches each month, and if we could capture just one per cent of that traffic, we would make a significant contribution towards lowering the impact of harmful greenhouse gas emissions”.
“ecocho.co.nz is a free service that doesn’t alter or slow your search results, plus users can choose between technology they know and trust, Yahoo and Google,” Mr Macdonald said.
Ecocho is being launched globally in 14 countries, providing easy access to a unique search engine that offsets emissions with no extra effort by users.
“ecocho.co.nz aims to reinvest 70 per cent of the site’s revenue in forestry schemes, and as the site progresses, we’ll begin to support similar carbon-offsetting schemes in other states and countries,” Mr Macdonald said.
In Australia, ecocho will purchase carbon-offset credits through the New South Wales Government Greenhouse Gas Abatement Scheme (GGAS) and KPMG will check the acquisition, registration and retirement of the carbon credits. A similar scheme in New Zealand is currently being investigated.