Actions with Impact

Actions with the Greatest Impact

The polar bear's survival is linked to the Arctic sea ice, a habitat greatly affected by climate change.

Research shows that it's not too late to take action to save sea ice and polar bears by greatly reducing carbon emissions.

Polar Bears International scientists have put together a list of which individual actions have the most impact. Look through these tips, find out what you're already doing—and then commit to doing more.

Together, we can leverage our power as citizens and get involved as members of community groups and organizations to save the sea ice that polar bears depend on!

© Daniel J. Cox/NaturalExposures.com

Social Interactions

It’s important that we all look for ways to make a difference beyond our own households. By speaking up and becoming an engaged citizen and community member, you can help bring about change and create new social norms.

290 People Committed to…

  • Vote for elected officials who recognize that our carbon-based society isn't sustainable and who will work to take action on climate change—and share information on these candidates with others.

47 People Committed to…

  • Let your elected officials know you support bold action to reduce carbon emissions, including funding programs that make renewable energy affordable and accessible across communities.

47 People Committed to…

  • Help to create a stewardship ethic in your community by supporting local green initiatives like farmer’s markets, food waste reduction efforts, and bike to work days—or start your own.

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  • Encourage members of your social circles to adopt sustainable lifestyles—and lead by example.

47 People Committed to…

  • Talk about climate change (and climate solutions) with friends, family members, and colleagues.

Transportation

Moving goods and people around the world uses about 25% of the overall energy used. Join us in supporting municipal commitments to reduce the number of vehicles overall and to add car-sharing and carpool programs and incentives to use public transportation.

290 People Committed to…

  • Walk or ride a bike when possible and encourage friends, family, and colleagues to join you.

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  • Use public transportation likes buses, street cars, or subway trains.

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  • Drive the most fuel-efficient vehicle for your needed task and drive at the most efficient speed for your vehicle.

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  • Avoid drive-through businesses—don't idle for more than 10 seconds.

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  • Keep your car tuned up and maintain proper tire inflation.

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  • Support community bike lanes, no-idling efforts, and mass transit options.

Home & Work

Construction, heating, cooling or lighting the places where we all work and live uses a lot of energy. Cities/provinces/and countries all over the world are setting new standards for how we construct new buildings. In the meantime, we must all take steps to increase efficiency and choose kinds of energy that don’t add heat-trapping gases to our atmosphere.

47 People Committed to…

  • Insulate buildings and caulk around windows and doors to prevent energy loss.

290 People Committed to…

  • Heat/cool your home or business with efficient systems (e.g., ENERGY STAR).

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  • Generate your own power with wind or solar sources.

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  • Let your utility company know that you want to subscribe to green power. If you live in the U.S., you can do so by switching to Arcadia Power—and you’ll benefit Polar Bears International at the same time.

47 People Committed to…

  • Use energy-efficient (e.g., ENERGY STAR) appliances and equipment, turn appliances off when not in use, and use low-tech methods when possible (e.g., line-dry clothes).

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  • Replace light bulbs with energy-efficient LED bulbs (see ENERGY STAR).

Dining

Growing, shipping, packaging, preserving, and refrigerating the foods we serve uses a lot of energy. One way to address this while helping people to eat healthier is to support infrastructure that gives more people access to locally grown and harvested food.

47 People Committed to…

  • Buy and cook only what you'll eat. Don’t waste food. (Currently, one third of all food produced is wasted.)

290 People Committed to…

  • Consume foods that are minimally processed and packaged (e.g., potatoes vs. potato chips).

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  • Purchase food grown locally and organically on small-scale farms.

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  • Avoid products that result from tropical deforestation (e.g., palm oil, coffee that isn't shade-grown, South-American beef).

47 People Committed to…

  • Greatly reduce or eliminate meat consumption.

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  • If you do eat meat, support pasture-fed beef, free-range poultry, and sustainable wild-seafood rather than CAFO (concentrated animal feeding operations) meats—and buy these from local farmers or fishermen when possible.

Marketplace

47 People Committed to…

  • Minimize your consumption—reduce, reuse, and recycle!

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  • Research vendors and buy from those with sustainable business models.

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  • Avoid products with excess packaging.

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  • Buy products created closer to home: for example, if you live in the U.S. or Canada, purchase goods made in North America instead of those shipped from far away, whenever possible.
glaciers floating ont he ocean
© Daniel J. Cox/NaturalExposures.com