Saving the World… One Tree at a Time
08 Sep 2009
Working with Google, Gearch have created a search engine that will help you save trees.
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The power of the internet to provide us with information, services and communication at the simple touch of a button is astounding. However, the possibility of creating long lasting positive change just by checking the latest football scores or searching for a last-minute deal, remains an untapped resource. It was this concept that led four students from the London Business School to create ‘Gearch’ — the first green search engine.
“We care about the environment but we also realise it’s not always easy to be green,” explained co-founder Emmanuel Coucke. “We want to transform the small steps that people do everyday into green steps: searching the web, playing online games, etc. We do this by monetising the stages and then using the profits for green projects — currently planting trees.”
Working with Google, Gearch provides users with the same experience, while tree credits are earned in return for their searches. This is tracked online by a ‘tree counter’ and once a user has collected enough for a whole tree, they can choose a name and where to plant it.
Gearch have so far saved thousands of trees. They aim to plant almost a million per year by 2012 and 74 million by 2025. Positive News now uses the search facility and have already planted trees in Mali, Cameroon, Brazil and Burundi.
“User trust is crucial for us, so we did a lot of work to find reliable tree planting partners,” Emmanuel told us. “Currently, we are using ‘Trees for the Future’, who have over 20 years planting experience.”
Recently, Gearch won first prize at the London Entrepreneurs Challenge Award and were made European winners of the Global Social Venture Challenge. They have also been given 74 acres of land in Peru, which they are reforesting with the help of corporate partners. “If a company convinces 100 of its employees to sign up, we’ll reforest 1.2 acres in their name,” reveals Emmanuel. “So, please contact us if you are interested.”
If you would like to help Positive News save trees through Gearch please click here to ask for an invite. Every invite that is successfully completed will allow Positive News to plant a tree, helping us to save the world one tree at a time.
Founders of Gearch: Jeik Sohn,
Emmanuel Coucke, Kitty Lee, Dan Hanna
Photo courtesy of Gearch
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