Tips from Scientists to Help Polar Bears

The polar bear's survival is linked to the arctic sea ice, a habitat greatly affected by climate change. Research shows, however, that it's not too late to take action to save sea ice and polar bears by greatly reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

PBI scientists have put together a list of which individual actions have the most impact. We suggest you look through these tips, find out what you're already doing—and then challenge yourself to add two or three more to help the bears. These simple steps will soon become habits and, eventually, part of a stewardship ethic that guides your daily choices and informs your everyday decisions.

Social Interactions
Home and Work
Dining Table

Social Interactions

  • Vote for political representatives who recognize that our carbon-based society isn't sustainable and who will work to establish an appropriate price for carbon; share information on these candidates with others
  • Interpret the facts about global warming to your friends and relatives
  • Encourage members of your social circles to adopt sustainable lifestyles—and lead by example
  • To help create a stewardship ethic in your community and raise awareness of how lifestyle changes can make a difference, take part in local green initiatives like planting trees, recycling drives, or bike to work days—or start your own.


  • Walk or ride a bike
  • Use public transportation
  • Drive the most fuel-efficient vehicle for your needed task and drive at the most efficient speed for your vehicle
  • Avoid drive-through businesses; don't idle for more than 10 seconds
  • Keep your car tuned up and maintain proper tire inflation
  • Support community bike lanes, no idling efforts, and mass transit options

Home & Work

  • Insulate buildings and heat/cool with efficient systems (e.g., rated by Energy Star)
  • Generate your own power with wind or solar
  • Let your utility company know that you want to subscribe to green power
  • Use energy-efficient (e.g. Energy Star) appliances and equipment. Turn appliances off when not in use. Use low-tech methods when possible (e.g., line-dry clothes)
  • Replace light bulbs with LED bulbs (see Energy Star)
  • Use no more water than needed 

Dining Table

  • Buy and cook only what you'll eat. Don't waste food.
  • Consume foods that are minimally processed and packaged (e.g., potatoes vs. potato chips)
  • Purchase fruits and vegetables grown locally and organically on small-scale farms
  • Avoid products that result from tropical deforestation (e.g., palm oil, coffee that isn't shade-grown, South American beef)
  • Consume less meat. Eat at least three meatless meals per week.
  • Consume products like pasture-fed beef, free-range poultry, and wild salmon rather than CAFO (concentrated animal feeding operations) meats—and buy these from local farmers or fishermen when you can


  • Minimize consumption: reduce, reuse, and recycle
  • Research vendors and buy from those with sustainable business models
  • Avoid products with excess packaging
  • 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.

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