11 ways to help Polar Bears

The 27th February is International Polar Bear Day.  As such, it’s a chance to raise awareness of the polar bear, to bring them to the attention of people who wouldn’t otherwise think of them, and to reflect on what each of us can do to help the polar bear – and to make a decision to take action and help them!

The charity dedicated to polar bears is Polar Bears International.   I love this charity.  They have a number of things you can do to help polar bears and make a difference.  So here they are:

1. The first thing you can do is very easy - sign up for their free newsletter!   Be a part of a community committed to saving polar bears.   Sign up here.  

2. Watch Polar Bear cams!

Take a look at real polar bears in the wild – you can see them on YouTube and also on Polar Bear International’s website.  Watch them and imagine what it would feel like to know that you are helping them, even from wherever it is you are right at that moment.  Connect with polar bears in the wild from home!  

And share the live cams of the polar bears from the website so that you can help people connect with nature.  People won’t want to help what they can’t see and connect with, and we all have different levels of connection with nature.

It shows the locations of polar bears (there is a time delay for their safety) but it also shows the current and past sea ice extents on Hudson Bay.   

Pick a polar bear to track, and follow their progress, checking where they are and what they are up to! 

4.  Watch the loss of sea ice.

The loss of sea ice is the biggest threat to polar bears. This video shows the extent of sea ice loss in the Arctic over the last  25 years.

But there's plenty you can do to help polar bears, whether you’re a teacher, a small or medium sized business owner, a community member, student, corporation or scientist, researcher, zoo or aquarium.

If you live in the USA, you can start straight away by petitioning the US President to set a fair price on carbon.  Include the tree cost of carbon in the price paid for fossil fuels, it’s possible to speed up the move to a renewable energy future.  This will reduce greenhouse gas emissions which cause global warming. If you don’t live in the USA, please spread the word anyway.  It only takes one person with US connections to really contact thousands more.  Go to the petition here.

Polar Bears International is the only charity totally dedicated to wild polar bear conservation.  They know polar bears--their habits, their ecology, their threats--and are recognized leaders in their conservation.  Made up of a small group of passionate conservationists, scientists, and volunteers­­, PBI exists to help secure a future for polar bears across the Arctic. Have a good look around their website and share anything you find particularly interesting.  Spread the word, especially about how people can get involved and help

7. Polar Bears and Climate Change
Find out from Polar Bears International what climate change is and how it is affecting polar bears.   Discover about their conservation status and the threats of sea ice loss, but also the impact of hunting and commercial activity.   Find out more

Many people waste energy every day – we’re all guilty of wasting something, somewhere.  Carbon emissions from that energy is one of the reasons for the sea ice melting.  You can help a) by turning the heat down and putting a jumper or sweater on; and b) by recycling your old thermostats.

Have you heard of phantom power? You can stop using it by unplugging electronic devices – or using a power strip and turning it off when you’re not using it. And Polar Bears International have clues to help you work out which products constantly draw power…. Find out more here.

Adopt a polar bear!   Adoptions start at $25 and you can do an eco-adoption.  I’ve adopted a polar bear before and kept thinking about “my” bear and how I could help look after her.   There are different levels of adoption to choose from.  Adopt a polar bear today.

Make a donation to Polar Bears International and help them in their work.   You can donate online.  Your contribution to their science, education, and advocacy will not only help save the polar bear species and their habitat but also preserve the climate that has allowed humans to flourish.  Donate today