A tree stump glows with fire amid smoke along the road to Jacunda National Forest, near the city of Porto Velho in the Vila Nova Samuel region which is part of Brazil's Amazon, Monday, Aug. 26, 2019. The Group of Seven nations on Monday pledged tens of millions of dollars to help Amazon countries fight raging wildfires, even as Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro accused rich countries of treating the region like a "colony." (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)

Eco search engine sees surge in downloads as Amazon burns

August 28, 2019 - 12:52 pm

NEW YORK (AP) — Can you save the rainforest from your desk? A spike in downloads for a search engine that's contributing profits to planting trees shows people are looking for ways to help as fires rage across the Brazilian Amazon.

But experts say that while such efforts won't hurt, it's better to give money directly to a charity.

Ecosia, a search engine founded in 2009, works with about 20 tree-planting organizations around the world in hopes of planting a billion trees by 2020. The Berlin-based company has pledged to plant an additional 2 million trees in Brazil.

Ecosia uses Microsoft Bing's search engine technology and sells ads just like many other tech companies. It says it's contributing 80% of its profits to tree-planting efforts and keeping just a small amount for itself.

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