Earth News|Collected: Your weekly round up of good news for the planet – 04.09.20

The environmentally-friendly search engine that plants trees; the electric tricycle that can help you save on plastic and money; and the little turtle with a reason to smile

Meet Ecosia, the environmentally-friendly search engine that plants trees

How many web searches do you do each day? 1? 5? 10? Google now processes over 40,000 search queries every second – that’s more than 3.5 billion searches per day. Now imagine if those searches could translate into the planting of trees around the world. That’s what search engine Ecosia does. Although it’s been around since 2009, you’d be forgiven for not being familiar with Ecosia, which makes its money in the same way as Google does – you do a search, you click on an advert at the top of the search results and Ecosia makes money from that click. The difference between Ecosia and other search engines is that Ecosia donates 80% of its profits to tree-planting charities. To date, it has funded more than 105 million new trees, all over the world.

You can add Ecosia to Chrome here. The Chrome extension sets your search engine to Ecosia and customises your new tab page, so you can plant trees with every search. How cool is that?!

“While they [billionaire founders of Google, Larry Page and Sergey Brin] have big yachts I have an inflatable dinghy that I take to lakes. Ego consumption is not appropriate in a world where there’s climate change.” – Christian Kroll, Founder of Ecosia, speaking to the BBC.

 

This plastic-saving vending machine refills your cleaning products, and it’s coming to NYC

A Chilean start-up, which has been helping people save money and reduce their plastic consumption, is expanding its ingenious mobile-vending-machine-electric-tricycle to the US, after receiving investment from Closed Loop Ventures, a New York-based venture capital fund focused on the circular economy.

Algramo allows people to pay for the product, not the packaging, by refilling your own reusable, smart packaging, with the whole process scheduled and managed via an app. The company’s mission is to “bring better products to the consumer, with fewer intermediaries and a fair price” and offers smart packaging that’s “designed to last forever, without polluting or generating waste”.

 

This smiling turtle has a new reason to stay happy: its species has been brought back from extinction

Gosh, scientists are awesome, aren’t they? Just 20 years ago, the Burmese roofed turtle was presumed extinct until 2001. But after rediscovering a handful of surviving animals, scientists have been able to regrow population to nearly 1,000 animals – and counting – in captivity, some of which have now successfully been released into the wild.

Numbers of Burmese Roofed Turtle, a keystone species in the larger rivers of Myanmar, were impacted by loss of nesting habitat and illegal harvesting of eggs. More than half the turtles and tortoise species in the world are now threatened with extinction, due to loss of habitat, dangers from the pet trade, overconsumption for food and medicine, fishing, pollution and climate change. But at least, for now, this little turtle with the goofy smile is ‘biologically secure’.

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Charli Ferrand

Charli wrote her first novel at the tender age of 9, then dabbled in the idea of becoming a professional ballerina for a few years, before returning to her love of writing, acquiring a BA (Hons) in Journalism, Film & Broadcast from Cardiff University in the UK. A three-month holiday in Australia turned into a 11 year residency, during which Charli cemented her career in PR & Marketing Communications working with some of the biggest brands in the world. She also gained her citizenship, discovered her passion for sustainability and eventually ended up coming full circle, combining her professional skills with her love of the planet and oceans into her role as Editor-in-Chief of Earth Collective. A trained journalist, experienced communications professional and qualified Mental Health First Aider, Charli has her finger on the pulse of the latest political and environmental developments around the world. You can find her writing about current affairs, political activism and mental health.

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