Step 1 - Get informed
Students and university staff will often ask you some tricky questions about Ecosia. It’s important that you thoroughly read our FAQs so that you feel confident talking about Ecosia in areas relating to tree-planting, data and privacy and our business model.
Make sure you are comfortable answering these questions before proceeding to the next step.
- How does Ecosia make money?
- Where do Ecosia plant trees and who actually does the planting?
- Google also runs on renewable energy, what makes Ecosia so much better?
- Does Ecosia protect my privacy?
- How do Ecosia know that their trees won’t just be cut down again?
Step 2 - Have a social media plan
Social media has proved to be the best way to get students to engage with Ecosia on Campus campaigns. Firstly, check if there is already a campaign present at your university. If there is, then it’s best to contact the current campaign directly to see how you can help.
Otherwise, use the resources available here so that your campaign branding is consistent with all of the other Ecosia on Campus campaigns. If you don’t have the Adobe package you may need to do this step from a computer at your university, or ask a friend with design experience to help you.
Once you have installed the fonts in each folder, open Campaign logo.ai and use the text tool to edit the text to ‘your university name on Ecosia’. You may also need to increase or decrease the space between the letters to make all of the text fit. If the university’s name is too long then feel free to abbreviate it.
When you are happy with how the logo looks, within Adobe Illustrator go to file, export, export as, and select .png. The logo will automatically save to the size that you need for Facebook and Instagram.
To edit the banner, open Uni Banner for students_FB.psd and edit the text in the same way. To export the banner go to file, save as, and select .jpeg
Once you have created your campaign logo and Facebook banner, set up either a Facebook page or Instagram account (or both!) and write your first post. You should clearly outline the aims of the campaign and include some basic information about Ecosia. On a Facebook page this can be pinned as the top post.
What should I post about?
As part of your Ecosia on Campus campaign, you want to inform students of the positive environmental impact that using Ecosia has for the planet. The best way to do this is to share updates from our tree-planting projects.
You might want to include a brief comment, such as, “so pleased to be supporting this cause” or “look what is made possible by your searches”. It’s also a good idea to include emojis to make the post more eye-catching.
Throughout your campaign, you’re going to be involved in lots of exciting events. Perhaps you’ll plant some trees on your campus, or organise a competition to win a house plant. Whatever activities your campaign members take part in, be sure to take lots of pictures to give you content to post to your page.
You might also like to share news from other Ecosia on Campus campaigns. Or the climate articles that you find interesting. Ecosia is not responsible for the content posted by each Ecosia on Campus campaign. But be aware that you are representing Ecosia, so aim not to post content that is controversial or could cause offence.
Managing a successful social media account is incredibly valuable experience to put on your CV. Try to get as much out of your campaigning as possible by learning new skills that will be useful in the future!
Step 3 - Tracking your tree count
A key component of your campaign is your university’s unique URL. Having this enables you to track the amount of trees planted by students at your university and the ability to measure the full impact of your campaign.
Send an email to email@example.com and a member of the Ecosia team will send you a unique URL to use. For example, ecosia.co/university_on_ecosia.
You must remember to tell students already using Ecosia to uninstall it from their browser or mobile and then reinstall it through your link. This will ensure that their trees will count towards your university’s total.
You should include this URL in all of your social media posts so as many students as possible are using Ecosia through your link.
An email is automatically sent out each month informing you of the number of searches and total trees planted through students using your link. You will also receive an email when you reach a milestone, like your first 10,000 trees!
Step 4 - Reach out for support
The impact of your campaign is much greater if you can persuade your university to make Ecosia the default search engine. At the University of Sussex, students planted 210 trees in September 2018. But when it was made the default they managed to plant 1,966 trees in October alone!
In order to run a successful campaign you need to reach out to people that work at the university who can provide you with support.
Contact your student union and see if you can officially register the campaign, similar to how you would set up a new society. See if your university has an Environment Officer or a Campaigns Manager and ask them about the possible ways that you can acquire funding.
Step 5 - Get involved on campus
Campaigning in person at events happening on your campus is the best way to raise the profile of your campaign. Host a table at freshers fair and hand out these leaflets. Remember to print on recycled paper if you can!
Team up with other green initiatives at your university and together organise a sustainability fair or go green week. Building a community with like minded students is the best way to gather support for your campaign. It’s also fun to meet the other students doing their bit for the environment!
Step 6 - Call in the student press
Featuring in the student newspaper is a fantastic way to create momentum for your campaign. Write a press release and send it to your student newspaper, encouraging them to run a story about your goal to make Ecosia the default search engine.
Once this is published, send the article to your university's official press department and see if they would like to feature the story too. This is a great way to raise awareness of the campaign throughout your university.
There are often internal newsletters and other ways of communicating your campaign with students and staff. Keep your eye out for emails or publications that could feature your Ecosia on Campus story.
Step 7 - Create an engaging video
Create a short video explaining Ecosia and the goals of your campaign. This can be played before lectures or film screenings happening on your campus. You could also interview some avid Ecosia users and post this to your Instagram. Remember that visual content always performs better on social media, so bear this in mind when you’re posting.
Step 8 - Ask your university to make the switch to Ecosia
Once you have taken all of these steps you will have no doubt raised the awareness of Ecosia on your campus. Give yourself a pat on the back for all your hard work!
Now is the time to contact your Vice Chancellor and IT department, asking them to consider switching to Ecosia.
In your email you should show:
- That students support the university switching to Ecosia. This can be through the number of likes on your social media, or perhaps the results of a petition.
- What impact the campaign has had so far and how many trees the university could plant in a year if it switched (number of students, searching an average of 3 times a day x 365 days divided by 45 searches to plant a tree).
- That switching to Ecosia is something universities across the global are doing and that it’s great publicity for the university to do this!
Download this drafted email, and don’t be afraid to send it right to the top. Copy in people from your IT department and everyone that you think is relevant.
When you do manage to persuade your university to switch to Ecosia, it’s important you tell them to contact firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can ensure your searches and trees all tie into the same tree counter.
Do not be disheartened if it takes a long time to receive a response from your university. Decisions aren't made overnight and senior staff may need to consult each other before getting back to you. Remember, you are the expert at your university and you know the best ways to get the attention of students and staff. Have faith in your abilities and don’t be afraid to try out new ideas.