Using technology for good allows us to make a difference—sometimes, with the simplest of acts online.

That’s how powerful technology is. And that’s how connected we all are.

Here are five simple ways you can start using technology for good today.

1. Fight novel coronavirus with your idle PC

Want to help researchers develop treatments for the novel coronavirus (https://www.theverge.com/2020/3/2/21161131/folding-home-volunteers-researchers-coronavirus) and other diseases? You can by donating the unused computing time from your idle machine.

Stanford University’s Folding@home (https://foldingathome.org/) initiative is a distributed computing project that harnesses the idle computing power of the PCs of thousands of volunteers around the world. The name of the project comes from protein folding–the complicated process that researchers simulate using computers.

To volunteer, you just need to download the free Folding@home software, which is available on Windows, Mac, or Linux. Once installed, the software will run on your computer while you go about your daily activities.

Help fight novel coronavirus by supporting Folding@home

2. Plant trees by searching the web

How many times do you search the web in a day? Now, imagine if those searches resulted in trees being planted.

That’s the beauty of using Ecosia (https://www.ecosia.org/) as your search engine.

How does it work? You simply search using Ecosia. You can get the free browser extension, or download their mobile app on the App Store or Google Play. Then, just search as you normally would. The search ads on your results generate income for Ecosia, which uses this to plant trees where they are needed.

To date, Ecosia has over 15 million users, and over 86 million trees have been planted.

Plant trees by using the Ecosia search engine
Plant trees by using the Ecosia search engine

3. Give online to charitable causes

Looking to donate to a worthy cause? Gava (https://gavagives.tech/) is a leading online donation portal in the Philippines. It allows charitable causes to easily launch campaigns on Gava’s online fundraising platform.

Gava allows you to easily find different online campaigns. Moreover, Gava makes use of blockchain technology to ensure transparency, security, and accountability of all donations.

As of this writing, Gava has raised $4 million in total donations, with 21,000 donors.

4. Donate while shopping online

For years now, I haven’t been going to Amazon.com. Instead, I make sure to shop at smile.amazon.com.

AmazonSmile (https://smile.amazon.com/gp/chpf/about/) is a simple way to support a charitable organization of your choice. In my case, it’s charity: Water, a non-profit that brings clean, safe drinking water to people in developing countries.

The AmazonSmile site is exactly the same as Amazon.com, and you just log in with your same account details. The difference is that on AmazonSmile, tens of millions of products are eligible for donations. When you purchase one of these eligible products, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price to your charity.

5. Create or support a fundraiser on Facebook 

I’m sure most of us spend a lot of time on Facebook, so why not do good by taking advantage of the Facebook Fundraisers (https://www.facebook.com/fundraisers) platform?

Facebook has made it incredibly easy to not only donate to worthy causes, but also for you to create a fundraiser for your chosen nonprofit, or to raise money for yourself or a friend.

I’m sure you’ve already encountered Facebook Fundraisers when it’s your birthday, or the birthday of your Facebook friend, since Facebook encourages us to use it as part of our birthday celebration. But you don’t have to wait for someone’s birthday to donate or create your own fundraiser.

One of the Facebook Fundraisers I’ve supported is the one my best friend Quay Evano, who is now based in Canada, created for his advocacy, R.E.A.D. Philippines (Reading Empowers and Accelerates Development in the Philippines).

R.E.A.D. Philippines (https://www.facebook.com/readphilippinescharity/) donates books to elementary and high schools in the Philippines. You can check out the FB page if you would like to know more, or would like to volunteer or suggest a school that needs books.

Support Facebook Fundraisers
Support Facebook Fundraisers

As you can see, it doesn’t take a lot of time and effort to do good online. Let’s make a difference today.

Joey Alarilla