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What I Did For International Polar Bear Day

/ Post by Katie Billing of Polar Bears International

You may recall last week’s International Polar Bear Day. My sidekick Erica Wills posted a piece about what she did for IPBD, which included turning off her thermostat and avoiding the shower. I too took the thermostat challenge, but also pushed myself to be a little extreme. I ran around my dorm building turning off the heat and electricity. Like Erica, I spread the International Polar Bear Day (IPBD) spirit to my neighbors and friends.

I enjoyed my energy “blackout” so much that I challenged myself to go the entire weekend without using electricity. The experience was made easier because I did some volunteer deer research with some graduate and Ph. D students. I spent the weekend wearing several clothing layers. I opted not to shower for the whole weekend (although a shower was available), and made sure to leave my electronics off and unplugged. While waiting to capture deer, I shared stories about polar bears and conservation. It was nice to hear opinions from older students and learn about how other wildlife research reflects climate change.

My weekend without electricity, heat, or showers made me appreciate what we are given, but it also reminded me not to be wasteful. I encourage you to make your IPBD efforts an every day challenge. See how long you can stand living without electricity or heat! I recommend you to get inspired by “No Impact Man,” A man who spent a year attempting to live a zero-waste lifestyle. Get started on your own project by checking out the website, and of course writing about your accomplishments on Polar Bear International’s My Planet My Part. Make every day a polar bear appreciation day!