Google search results now highlight sustainable travel and shopping
Google is making its search engine more useful for environmentalists. The internet giant is updating its research to provide information on more sustainable shopping and travel options. Look for energy-hungry devices like water heaters or dishwashers, for example, and you’ll see suggestions for more durable (and often more profitable) products. A future update will also make it easier to cross-shop electric and hybrid cars, with identification tags and a view of compatible charging stations nearby.
Google Flights, meanwhile, will show the estimated CO2 emissions for “almost every” flight, down to seat level. An economy seat on a new aircraft could be much nicer than a first-class sleeper on an older airliner.
Even stocks will experience improvement. Google Finance launches sustainability scores for equity portfolios, giving you a holistic idea of the green conscience of your investment companies. Google will source information from the Climate Disclosure Project.
Research will also improve if you just try to investigate climate change. Google promises a dedicated results page with detailed data, including related information from the UN and other authorities. Ideally, the data panels will help you better understand climate change and the fight to minimize it.
You will have to wait a bit to see all the changes planned by Google. Changes to shopping and travel will arrive this week, but you’ll have to wait until later in October for the climate change information boards. The stock portfolio scores are only ‘soon’ and you’ll have to wait until early 2022 to see the EV and Hybrid tags.
This is far from having a tangible effect on the environment. Just because you’ve seen an eco-friendly search link doesn’t mean you’re going to click or even consider it. Even if it does, it signals a change in attitude at Google. The tech company no longer sees cutting back behind-the-scenes resources as enough – it directly educates web users.
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