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Eco warriors who prefer doing their bit from the comfort of their computer can do so with the launch of Ecosia, the 'world's greenest' search engine.

Devised by Christian Kroll and his Berlin-based company, the search tool will apparently save up to 2 square metres of rain forest everytime you submit a search.

Servers for the Ecosia search engine run on green electricity, and once installed as your default search engine alerts you as to how much of the rainforest your web searching is actually preserving.

Yahoo and Bing have been involved in the project providing search results and sponsored links for the site, of which 80% of income will be donated to an Amazonian environmental protection programme in Brazil’s Juruena-Apui region.

Emphasising just how much can be achieved by swapping your current search engine for a greener one, a World Wide Fund spokesman said, "An average Internet user can protect about 2,000 square meters of rainforest every year by using Ecosia -- this is about the size of an ice hockey field. If only 1% of global Internet users accessed Ecosia for their Web searches, we could save a rain forest area as big as Switzerland each year."

This is not the first search engine to use revenue as a means of helping environmental causes with Kroll having previously trialled a more environmentally friendly search engine called Forestle in 2008. Despite popularity in Germany however, the interest did not go much further than that.

The Ecosia search engine is already up and running, but will receive an official launch on December 7th, to mark the World Climate Summit in Copenhagen.


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