You may not realise it, but every Internet search that you make has an impact on the environment. Your query races back to a server which uses electricity to run processors in huge, power-hungry server farms that spit out your query before returning it to you. The more searches we do, the greater the environmental impact.

While Google is investing is green tech like windfarms and solar plants to boost its green credentials, another more direct approach that we users can make is to switch to a ‘green’ search engine.

Ecosia is a search engine that returns results from Bing and Yahoo. However, whenever you click a sponsored search result, Ecosia gets a chunk of the revenue and passes at least 80% of it on to the WWF to support its work in the Amazon rain forest.

Ecosia is a Germany-based company that launched in December 2009, inspired by founder Christian Kroll’s travels in South America. In its first 18 months, the company says that it has raised €250,000 (362,337 USD) for the WWF (although the counter on its front page seems a little behid this). It has recently launched EcoLink, an affiliate link scheme in partnership with Skimlinks and Viglink, that funnels money to the WWF too.

Although it says it has just 200,000 users, this little-known search engine is essentially the same as using Bing, but with a nice kickback for the environment. It should give you a feeling of ‘doing good’ each time you search, too.