Polar Bears International

4/5/2013 5:00:00 AM

Good News Friday {Bear Adoptions, SmartHomes, Green eBay, Climate Standards, and Tundra Connections}

It's Friday and we want to share some good news. There's a lot of doom and gloom out there regarding climate change--and there should be. It's a serious problem that we all need to be taking action on.

But on Fridays, we like to highlight some of the good news, and focus on what people and communities are doing right now to reduce their carbon footprint and help polar bears.

• Do you know someone with a birthday or other celebratory event this month? Polar bear adoptions make great gifts. Don't worry, you won't have to keep a wild bear in your home, you can adopt one symbolically through PBI, get some goodies, and help wild bears. By adopting one polar bear, you can help save many. Choose from four levels of adoption—$250, $100, $50, $30.

• The term "natural history" often evokes a sense of the past, but increasingly The Cleveland Museum of Natural History (CMNH) is showing the way to a more sustainable future. In 2011, CMNH developed an ambitious exhibit, the PNC SmartHome, to demonstrate the energy-efficient house of the future—a house designed to stay warm through a Cleveland winter without a conventional furnace. The project won the 2012 Brooking Paper on Creativity in Museums.

Inspired by the SmartHome, other building projects in Northeast Ohio are now incorporating passive design principles, including a new building for a community theater group. The project's design-build team is getting orders for more passive houses. The team is also exploring the feasibility of prefabricating insulated SmartHome wall systems for sale throughout the country. Thus, the project could have economic development spin-offs for Northeast Ohio.

• Online auction site, eBay is dabbling in the green marketplace. eBay unveiled plans for a new e-commerce site for shoppers of environmentally friendly and fair-trade goods. The new site is built in partnership with fair-trade company World of Good, and offers shoppers more information about products—where they come from, how they are made, and how they affect the environment. Hopefully, more people can access climate friendly products from their new site.

• By the time today's K-12 students grow up, the challenges posed by climate change are expected to be severe and sweeping. NPR reports that for the first time, new nationwide science standards due out soon will recommend that U.S. public school students learn about the climatic shift taking place. We hope they'll learn how to mitigate it, too.

• What is it like to study polar bears out on the arctic sea ice, where temperatures can plunge to sixty below? Teachers, students, and a curious public will have the chance to meet polar bear scientists, learn about their field work, and submit questions via three live, free webcasts on April 9, 2013. Find out more on our Spring Tundra Connections page.

Have a great weekend!

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