If you’re again stumped by how many teaspoons make a tablespoon, or how many feet are in a mile (why, why do we use such archaic measuring system? Can’t we just use the metric system like the rest of the world? Nothing in this world demonstrates American arrogance like irrationally keeping the imperial system around just so we don’t have to admit that we’re wrong.) Anyways, you may do a quick Google search to find your answer, but there’s another option: Ecosia.org.
Ecosia is a search engine based in Germany that donates 100% of its net profits to plant trees as part of reforestation efforts around the world. On average it takes 45 individual searches to generate enough ad revenue to plant another tree, and to date they’ve planted over 40 million trees.
What is great about this organization is their dedication to transparency. Every month they publish a financial report showing how much revenue they received, and then break down how they spent that money (https://documents.ecosia.org/467540/12095458). They lump their spending into four categories: Operating Costs (salaries, taxes, etc), Spreading the Word (marketing), Reserves (short-term savings to fund future large projects), and Tree Planting (The amount that actually went to fund tree planting for that month).
Ecosia is also transparent with where they are planting the trees as well. On their home site, you can see reports on where they have been planting trees, along with which specific organizations they are partnering with to carry out the tree planting in those regions. Tree planting isn’t even an arbitrary number either, but its the actual count of successful tree plants that have survived planting, and they track their progress with GPS coordinates of where the trees were planted.
They also have an online shop where you can buy hoodies and t-shirts, but their mission is engrained within this shop as well. Each T-shirt generates enough profit to plant 20 additional trees in a biodiversity hotspot, but they also are transparent with their source materials as well. The Ecosia shop uses Teemill, a company that is transparent about the entire production process from farming the 100% organic cotton farms to the garment making factories that provide quality wages and utilizes renewable energy (https://ecosia.teemill.com/).
There’s a reason why Ecosia invests so much on transparency, and it’s because they are a Certified B Corp.
A Certified B Corp is just that: a certification. This certification is provided by an organization called B Lab, which it evaluates organizations on a set of social metrics to ensure that the company is creating benefits to not only its shareholders, but stakeholders as well.
Shareholders are those who have a financial ownership and interest in a given company, meanwhile stakeholders are those who are impacted by the company in any given way. That means customers, 3rd party vendors, employees, the local community that the business is located in, the environment, etc.
B Corps are evaluated on 5 categories:
From a scale of 0 to 200, a business needs to score a minimum of 80 in order to qualify as a B Corp. If the organization passes the evaluation, the organization will need to continue to work to maintain its certification as B Lab will conduct annual audits of that organization and publish a public score of that organization. The B Corp certification is like a more rigorous version of a USDA Organic or Fair Trade labels, in that it at the end of the day is a label, but it carries a lot of promotional weight (https://bcorporation.net/directory/ecosia-gmbh).
Ecosia was actually the first Germany company to receive the B Corp certification in 2014.
From end to end, Ecosia aims for transparency and utilizing its resources for improving our natural environment. So next time you need an answer, “google” on Ecosia.
(The answer to how many feet are in a mile is 5,280. If you watched Remember The Titans, you would already know that. Petey will never forget either.)
Donate a Photo
Want to be able to donate $365 per year, but not coming from your own pocket? Then “donate” a photo!
Johnson & Johnson set up an app called “Donate a Photo” where you post any photo you would like, and in turn J&J will donate $1 to the cause that you choose. They operate on campaigns that are continuously rolling, and so your donation helps reach the campaign goal. You can only post one photo a day, and thus allows you to achieve up to $365 in donations per year.
It’s really that simple. You just open the app, select a photo from your photo library, hit submit & your photo will be added to the photo wall on the app. You can then forward that photo to your Facebook, Instagram, & Twitter.
The concept seems kind of weird, and you may be asking: “Why am I donating a photo?” “Do they keep the rights to my photo?” “Are they using my photo?” But I think it’s because they overemphasize the donation aspect and don’t properly convey what the action you are actually doing. The function of this app isn’t to arbitrarily posting photos onto the photo gallery, but rather to be the means to your normal Instagram posts.
This app is designed to be a third-party uploader to your Instagram or Facebook photos that adds a graphic of the cause you’re supporting while also generating a donation in the process. Instead of just going to Instagram and post you photo of your avocado toast, go to Donate A Photo app, and use that to post onto your Instagram and generate a $1 donation in the process.
In my personal experience, I’ve ran into some glitches with the app in that it doesn’t consistently post onto Facebook, but uploading to Instagram has worked fine.
The app has been running for about 5 years now, and almost 4 million photos have been posted, and thus have generated just under $4 million in donations.
This was mostly just a follow up to my previous post in what I consider this to be the “ultra-lazy” category of social impact. These 5 services don’t cost you anything, and most work automatically once you’ve applied it, but can tap into productive means of giving back. My next post will cover more free ways to generate donations, but tap into the world of fitness apps in order to achieve it.