Planting Trees One Search At A Time

Wouldn’t it be awesome to help plant trees by simply using a search engine?  Since 2009, the German-based company Ecosia has been doing just that.  With the power of Microsoft’s Bing, Ecosia is an extension compatible with many web-browsers which makes Ecosia the default search engine.

Whenever a search engine is used, a small profit is generated for the company owning the engine through advertisements when a link is clicked.  For Microsoft and Google, these profits go to the growth of their respective companies.  However with Ecosia, 80% of their profits go towards planting trees!  In fact, Ecosia has planted over 6 million trees since 2009 all because everyday people simply searched for everyday things using their search engine.  My favorite feature on the website is their “Tree Counter” which displays the estimated amount of trees you have helped plant by using Ecosia (I’m over 50 trees just over the course of a couple of months).
With all of the searches which happen on campus everyday, we can help plant thousands of trees incredibly quickly if we could make this the default browser on campus.  The quality of the searches would be exactly the same as Bing, and we would be helping a cause which puts the planet before profits.  Perhaps more importantly, it will encourage students to download Ecosia on their personal computers so the idea of Ecosia will spread off campus to the community as well.
The link to their website is  I hope everybody takes a minute to check it out!

Making a Difference Through Environmental Communication

by Danielle Simmons

A new course being offered this semester at Paul Smith’s College is Environmental Communication (ENV 399). This course is taught as a collaboration between our college and The Wild Center in Tupper Lake  Rob Carr and Curt Stager. This course is the result of a PSC Center for Campus Sustainability fund proposal that was passed last fall. Sixteen students are currently enrolled and throughout the course they will be gaining knowledge about interpretation as well as local environmental issues and applying their knowledge and research by presenting to “gatekeeper” leader within the community as well as the general public at SAMFest on April 22, 2017. This course allows students the option to earn a National Association of Interpretation Guide Training certificate through The Wild Center. In the past when this course was offered, almost all of the students took the opportunity to receive that certification.

So far, we  have learned the basics on interpretation, new presenting techniques and examples of how to find information that will help us make a strong presentation. All of this is leading up to the first homework assignment, which is an individual five minute presentation on something resulting in change in the students hometowns. All that we have learned so far will be applied in this assignment. This is the first time we will be making our own presentations and we will be able to get feedback that will help us further on in the course.

I feel like I’m actually going to make a difference with this course and develop skills I’m going to be able to utilize throughout my career.

Check out the link below for more info on SAMFEST (Science Art and Music Festival)