It's just a few clicks a day, but Google searches have an environmental impact too - 7 grams of carbon each, according to a recent study. To put it in visual terms, for every two Google searches you do, you've used the equivalent amount of energy as boiling water for a cup of tea. When you think of the massive amount of searches we do each day on Yahoo, Google and MSN, it adds up to a lot of energy consumed.
All search engines are not created equal, though. Green search engines donate money to environmental causes each time you click - and they're powered by the major search engines, so your results are comparable to a typical Google search. Here are two to try:
GoodSearch - Powered by Yahoo, GoodSearch donates 50 percent of profits to charity, and allows you to choose the charity of your choice before you start searching. The site also sponsors GoodShop, which donates up to 37 percent of the profit from any item you buy via the site to charity.
GoodTree - Powered by a combination of the major search engines, GoodTree also allows you to select charities to benefit from your search. The site also includes a social networking component, and 12.5 percent of profits go to charities.
Update: Google has refuted the claims of the Times' story. Read more: Google Dispels Energy Usage Claims.
Corrected on : Corrected 1-12-09: A previous version of this post mentioned the site EcoSearch. The site is still in operation, but no longer donates to green charities through Google ad revenue.