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It's said that the rainforests are the lungs of the world. We rely on them to produce oxygen and remove toxins from the air, and thus without the trees we would literally suffocate. But this hasn't stopped humans from destroying trees for myriad reasons, and now some organizations and charitable bodies are working hard to try to reverse the damage we've done, or at least stop it from getting worse. This doesn't happen for free, of course, and so that's why charitable search engines, such as Gaia Mission, exist.
GaiaMission.org is a search engine which generates money from your searches, and then donates some of that money to charities which help to prevent the destruction of natural resources. Whilst its iconography and general design imply they specialize in the revitalization of the rainforests, this isn't all they do. They also work to improve the lives of wildlife and other animals, prevent the destruction of the coral reefs, and much more. So, if you're interested in sustaining the planet's natural resources, this could be a charitable search engine worth checking out.
Aside from some information on their goals, and – of course – performing searches, there's not a great deal to explore on GaiaMission.org. This might be because it's quite a new venture (opening in 2019), so they haven't quite had the experience or input they want just yet. We hope to see more about their current success with projects and how your money can help with them, in the future. Those qualms aside, we do feel that the site aims to make real improvements to how we interact with the natural world, and that's to be applauded.
Make real improvements to how we interact with the natural world.
There are also a few key areas worth taking into account when deciding on whether or not you want to dedicate your charitable searching to Gaia Mission, so let's look at how the services function and what to expect when using the search engine…
We've already gone into quite some detail about the kinds of work GaiaMission hopes to be involved with. We'd appreciate more information on how successful they were during their first few months or years, as well as their aims for the future. That's not a criticism per say, especially given they're relatively new to the scene, but it's something that needs to be addressed. Thankfully, they state that they give 100% of profits to helping environmental causes, and they have partners who will match (or even double or triple) donations from the site's users, which is great to see. Generally speaking, we think this may be a good search engine for people who want to care for the planet, it's just not quite clear exactly how they intend to do that.
Search features on this engine are better than on several of its competitors. You can perform a normal search, seek the news, watch videos or look for images related to your search. This is often powered by Yahoo!, which isn't a bad option. However, it can be a little irritating to be constantly forwarded to the Yahoo! search page, rather than just staying on GaiaMission.org throughout, as it's not always clear whether or not it's tracking your online activity (from which they receive the donations from ads) all the time. Those things considered, it's important to look at the next point…
Gaia Mission offers browser extensions for several main players, meaning that you won't need to keep checking into the site to make sure your transactions and internet activity is recorded (and therefore they receive the donations based on your online activities). This can take a lot of the painstaking work out of having to log into the page constantly when performing a search, and helps to guarantee the money will make it to them safely. A quick download, a few options selected, and you're ready to go.
As with most search engine sites, you can read about the terms and conditions of using Gaia Mission on their webpage. The salient facts for this service, are that you make money for Gaia Mission when you search the internet and see ads. You will be sent notices from the site, unless you opt out. They will also not share your details with a third party unless you have requested it, or if it's with trusted partners. Their agreement is outlined in the privacy section of the site, which is worth reading if you have any concerns.
GaiaMission is essentially focused on helping to protect and restore the planet. They have given brief details on their key targets, such as plastic waste in the oceans, stopping the destruction of rainforest and protecting the coral reefs. Exactly how your generated revenue is spent isn't always clear (since it doesn't seem like you can choose to invest in a specific project), but we don't have much reason to doubt their dedication and passion. More options for how each user's money will be spent, maybe even allowing them to choose a project to support, would be greatly appreciated.
This charity search engine seems to have its heart in the right place. Whilst its features are basic, they work well enough, and we're glad to see you can add an extension to the browser. What we'd really like to see, is more information on their projects, and options for users to choose which projects they want to support. It would also be good to know how well they've done so far, with a financial report (although at this time, it looks like their first financial report should already have been released). This might be due any time, and then users will have a much better idea of how successful their contributions have been. So, watch this space…!
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