3 Eco-friendly Alternatives to Popular Digital Tools

Last updated on January 18, 2024

As more people become aware of their impact on the environment, eco-friendly practices are becoming increasingly popular in the construction industry. 

Green contractors use environmentally friendly materials, reduce waste, and implement energy-efficient designs to minimize their carbon footprint. In addition to these physical practices, green contractors also turn to eco-friendly digital tools to further their sustainability efforts. 

However, when seeking these eco-friendly alternatives, it’s important to stay cautious due to the prevalence of greenwashing and potentially harmful websites. In this article, we will provide you with three eco-friendly alternatives that are worth checking out.

1of 10

Eco-friendly Search Engines

Eco-friendly Search Engines

Traditional search engines consume significant energy and generate carbon emissions. According to The Guardian, 0.2 grams of CO2 is produced by each Google search. It might not seem like much, but there are over 3.5 billion daily searches on Google alone.

This, however, isn’t the only issue, as powering individual computers comes with additional environmental challenges. In the wake of such statistics, various eco-friendly search engines have emerged to make a difference.

Ecosia, Ekoru, Oceanhero, Goodserach, Rapusia, and Give As You Live are among the best eco-friendly search engines. Each one of them comes with their own solution to minimize environmental issues and make our planet greener. Let’s explore a couple of them and see how they achieve this.

2of 10


Ecosia uses its profits to support climate action. Over half of their income, which is generated through ads, is used for tree planting. Since its inception in 2009, Ecosia has planted over 186 million trees.

To plant one tree, it takes about 45 Ecosia searches. The Certified B Corp company has garnished more than 20 million users over the years and continues to grow. Ecosia’s environmental support differs from that of other companies because of its dedication to protecting biodiversity. 

Instead of relying simply on monocultures, the company focuses on planting different native species according to their habitat to ensure proper environmental benefits. Bing powers this search engine, but they use their own algorithms. 

3of 10


Another great eco-friendly search engine is Oceanhero. The company set up a goal to clean up polluted water with every search. However, they took it one step further.

Plenty of us often open up numerous tabs in our browsers. Oceanhero has capitalized on this, and each time someone clicks on an ad, a small portion of sales goes to Oceanhero. It takes about 17 open tabs to remove one plastic bottle. Until now, Oceanhero has removed over 32.5 million ocean-bound bottles in collaboration with Plastic Bank.

Plenty of other search engines focus on renewable energy sources to power their services, offset carbon emissions, or donate a portion of their profits to environmental causes. Pick one that suits your needs and can also deliver the search results you are looking for.

4of 10

Sustainable Browsers

Browsers play a crucial role in our online work activities. The good news is that they have eco-friendly alternatives, focusing on energy efficiency and resource optimization. Energy-efficient browsers minimize energy consumption during browsing. By doing so, they help to reduce your device’s power usage.

Some browsers offer extensions that measure and display the energy impact of visiting different websites, allowing you to choose greener options. Among the best sustainable browsers is Mozilla Firefox.

This browser is committed to becoming carbon-neutral and reducing its footprint yearly. It also aims to meet the commitment of the Paris Climate Agreement to net zero emissions.

5of 10

Green Email Providers

Green Email Providers

Email communication is a daily necessity for many contractors. Opt for eco-friendly email providers that prioritize sustainability, such as Mailfence, Posteo, or Mailbox.org.

These providers often use renewable energy sources to power their data centers, implement energy-efficient infrastructure, or support environmental initiatives. Here is what you should know about them.

6of 10


Mailfence is a popular alternative to Gmail. It is ad-free and dedicated to protecting your emails through encryption and using green energy. This company uses some of its profits to support the Electronic Frontier Foundation and European Digital Rights.

7of 10


Another popular eco-friendly and open-source ad-free email is Posteo. Wholly financed by its users, this company doesn’t participate in data trade actions. It uses energy-efficient hardware to minimize its carbon footprint and donates to NGOs that act either for humanitarian or environmental causes.

8of 10

Be Cautious of Greenwashing and Dangerous Websites

When searching for eco-friendly alternatives to popular digital tools, it’s crucial to be vigilant and avoid falling victim to greenwashing or potentially dangerous websites. Greenwashing refers to misleading claims of sustainability made by companies.

Research the company’s environmental practices, certifications, and transparency guidelines to ensure legitimacy. Be cautious of websites that claim to offer eco-friendly alternatives but may contain harmful or malicious content.

Stick to reputable sources and thoroughly research before downloading or installing. Getting a virus or malware that could affect your device or steal your digital information is easy. This is why you should consider using a VPN, which is also a way to contribute to a more sustainable digital footprint.

9of 10

Benefits of Using a VPN 

Using a VPN can enhance both your online privacy and contribute to a sustainable digital footprint simultaneously. A VPN can encrypt your internet traffic, safeguarding your personal information from potential threats and surveillance issues.

Since some companies actively use their funds to cover their environmental impact, you can use a VPN to change your geo-location and access restricted or censored content that may help you gain better insight.

This is also a safe option if you want to try out new eco-friendly digital tools and feel unsure about their legitimacy or want to avoid malicious websites. You can even use a VPN on TV.

10of 10

The Takeaway

Adopting eco-friendly digital tools can help green builders reduce their environmental impact and contribute to a greener future. However, it’s crucial to exercise caution and be aware of greenwashing and potentially harmful websites. Take care of your online safety while paving the way for a greener, more sustainable future.

Related reading:

Read more

Read more

Read more

Read more

Read more

Read more

Table of Contents