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Ekoru is a charitable search engine that uses its profits to clean the oceans of plastic and reforest the ocean floor with seagrass. Yes, you heard that right, reforest the ocean floors - by planting seagrass (or Posidonia Oceanica) into the ocean floor! Ekoru is powered by Bing and donates 60% of its revenues to Big Blue Ocean Cleanup, which helps keep the oceans clean of plastic, and Operation Posidonia, which replants seagrass into the ocean floor.
Ekoru is a charitable search engine that uses its profits to clean the oceans of plastic and reforest the ocean floor with seagrass.
Ekoru is like the Ecosia of the sea! Instead of planting trees - on land, in the usual fashion - Ekoru fund the planting of seagrass on the ocean floor via a non-profit called Operation Posidonia, which is led by the University of New South Wales in Australia. According to Ekoru, one soccer field of seagrass is lost every 30 minutes (that's around 24,000 acres per year) and seagrass can capture carbon 40 times faster than tropical rainforests. Seagrass also act like marine nurseries, helping young marine life hide from ocean predators. These underwater meadows are home to hundreds of sea creatures, including fish, sea horses and crabs. Volunteers known as the Storm Squad help gather up washed up seagrass from beaches all over the world, ready to replant them back into the ocean floor. The scuba divers of Operation Posidonia then re-plant this seagrass (or Posidonia Oceanica) back into the sea bed.
Apart from reforesting the ocean floor, mainly around Australia, Ekoru also donate to Big Blue Ocean Cleanup, a non-profit that's focused on cleaning the plastic from our oceans and coastlines. Big Blue Ocean Cleanup (based in the UK, Australia, Canada and Malaysia) run a network of coastal cleanup campaigns all over the world, where volunteers of all ages and local community groups comb the beaches collecting plastic waste that's washed up from the ocean (and that would end up back in the ocean if it wasn't collected from the shoreline).
Ekoru donate 60% of their revenue to these two projects, helping to clean and reforest the oceans. They claim to publish all their donation receipts on their website for all to see, although at the time of writing this review, we could not locate these receipts on their website.
The Ekoru search experience includes a Web tab (for the main search results) and dedicated image, video and news searches via additional tabs at the top of the page, as you've come to expect from most other search engines. The search results are delivered by Bing, and so provide up to the minute, relevant results for your search query. The web tab includes rich-content (image, video and news thumbnails) that are related to your search. Up to three thumbnails are provided for each of these, which contrasts with the 10-20 thumbnail images you would see in a sliding carousel on SearchScene's search results and the 10 or so you would see on Ecosia's.
The dedicated image search and video search tabs both display image and video thumbnails in a gallery, which is the best way to display them, in our opinion. (Compare this to Google, who only display their image search results in a gallery and display their video search results as a list of just 10 videos per page, along with descriptions.) Click on an image to see an enlarged version of that image in a lightbox; click on a video thumbnail to be directed directly to the video host site, e.g. Youtube.
There is no knowledge panel provided on Ekoru's website - this is the panel in the sidebar (or top bar on mobile) that provides additional information and images relevant to your search that you're probably used to seeing on Google and Bing. In contrast, knowledge panels are provided on both SearchScene and Ecosia. Another thing that's missing are any instant answers to questions you might type in, such as "What is the time in Moscow?" or similar questions, where Google and Bing will give you an instant answer at the top of the search results.
On the whole, Ekoru have done a nice job at displaying the search results, although the text in the ads at the top and bottom of the search results is very bunched together with not nearly enough line-spacing, contrasting sharply with the nicer, more spaced-out layout of the organic search results. We wonder whether this could this be a bug.
Ekoru have taken environmental protection in a refreshingly new direction, by reforesting the ocean floor instead of the land.
Ekoru's eco-credentials are impressive. Ekoru state that their servers are powered by the run-of-the-river hydro-electric plant in Beauharnois, Quebec, Canada, and are located just 300 meters away from this hydro-electric plant. In addition to this green power source, Ekoru's data center uses air and water cooling to eliminate the need for air conditioners and fans, further reducing their carbon footprint. Also, Bing (who supply Ekoru's search results) are carbon neutral. This makes Ekoru carbon neutral and one of only two search engines we've reviewed that are completely carbon neutral - the other being Ecosia.
In conclusion, Ekoru have taken environmental protection in a refreshingly new direction, by reforesting the ocean floor instead of the land. That, together with their mission of removing plastic waste from the oceans is surely an admirable goal that will delight any environmentalist and anyone concerned about the health of our oceans and its wildlife. Ekoru's eco-credentials also help set them apart from the crowd by having their servers powered by hydro-electricity. With browser extensions and apps available, Ekoru have done as much as they can to maximize the reach and ease of accessibility of their search engine. They have also done an admirable job of providing a rich search experience, although with the lack of a knowledge panel and instant answers, they fall short of Ecosia and SearchScene in terms of their search experience and fall way short of Google or Bing in this regard.
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