Each year, conservationists celebrate International Polar Bear Day by bringing attention to polar bears and the threats they face. The single largest challenge that wild polar bears face is climate change. With warmer temperatures, the sea ice is melting, reducing hunting, breeding and sleeping areas for polar bears. Today, we’re asking that you consider taking actions to reduce your carbon emissions to help polar bears. Below are some ideas to help you get started.

a polar bear in Canada

© Court Whelan

Drive Less 

Walking, biking or riding the bus are great ways to reduce your carbon emissions. Transportation is the biggest contributor of carbon emissions in the United States, according to the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions. If you can’t avoid driving, try carpooling with friends to reduce the number of cars you are using for one event. Natural Habitat Adventures provided e-bikes for its employees in 2019 to try to encourage more individuals to bike to work instead of driving, which has helped employees reduce their emissions.

Home Energy Consumption 

There are a lot of daily things in our homes that waste energy. To help reduce your carbon footprint, be sure to unplug your electronics when you’re not using them. In addition, you can adjust your thermostat when you’re not home to save energy on both heating and cooling. Swapping out your light bulbs for energy-efficient alternatives can also help reduce your energy output.

a polar bear being silly in Canada

©Mike Hillman

Adjust Your Diet

Did you know that you could cut your dietary carbon emissions in half by replacing beef with chicken? Carbon dioxide emissions in food come from energy, fertilizer and land use, according to the New York Times. Food production is responsible for a lot of greenhouse gasses released into the atmosphere, with beef as one of the highest contributors. Try reducing your red meat intake or go vegetarian once a week with Meatless Mondays!

Buy Local

Each time we purchase goods, we are impacting the planet with our dollars. Getting an international product requires a significant amount of transportation and energy. Consider shopping at your local farmers market for your grocery needs instead of purchasing from a large grocery store. You can also look for local products at stores to ensure you are supporting your community.

A polar bear mom and cub

©Patrick J. Endres

Offset Your Carbon Emissions

In the travel industry, we use a lot of carbon to fly, sail and explore the world. In order to keep our emissions low, Natural Habitat Adventures offsets all of their trips and travelers’ airfare to make sure their actions do not negatively impact climate change. For more information on offsetting your carbon emissions, check out this link.

Polar bears represent an iconic symbol of conservation worldwide. With our help, we can conserve these creatures and prevent their extinction. By reducing our carbon emissions, we are helping slow the process of global climate change to allow our species time to adapt to our ever-changing world. Please help us celebrate International Polar Bear Day by increasing awareness and education on reducing personal and corporate carbon emissions.