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Wednesday, April 22

Earth Day





In celebration of Earth Day, I did a bit of research on climate change and how it's affecting the polar bear population in Canada's northern territories.

When we think of the Arctic, we tend to think of pristine wilderness, blue horizons, ice fields and glaciers and the magnificient species known as polar bears. We've seen them roaming the ice fields on tv and in movies. We shouldn't take this for granted, as one day these giant bears may cease to exist.

Information on the World Wildlife Fund's Canadian website states that "due to climate change, Canada's Arctic is warming faster than any place on Earth." Because of global warming, the majestic polar bear is facing extinction. However, all hope isn't lost if people work together to reduce the impact of climate change on our planet.

Can you imagine future generations only recognizing these magnificient creatures as a species that was extinct before they were born? A sad outlook, isn't it? But that could well happen.

In the past 50 years, parts of Canada's Arctic have seen temperatures increase 3 to 4 degrees Celcius. (That is 37.4 to 39.2 Fahrenheit.) One quarter of the Arctic sea ice has vanished since 1979. This causes a serious threat to the polar bear population. Some bears have to swim as far as 100 kilometers (62 miles) to find sea ice on which to hunt seals. Without the ice, polar bears can't hunt seals and this is their main food supply. Some polar bears drown in rough seas in their search for the ice, while others succumb to hypothermia and exhaustion.

We each need to take reponsibility for slowing climate change. No one person can do it alone, but if we all join together, we can make a difference. Here are a few ways you can help:

* If you don't have a high efficiency furnace, consider having one installed. Not only does it cut greenhouse gas emissions, it will save you considerable money over the course of the year, especially if you live in a northern climate.

* Add extra insulation to your attic, basement and the exterior walls of your house.

* Buy a programmable thermostat for your air conditioner and furnace. This will allow you to program energy according to your lifestyle.

* Sign with a power company that provides energy through renewable sources, such as wind.

* Install low-flow taps, showerheads and toilets.

* Install ceiling fans in order to reduce air conditioning costs or to eliminate the use of the air conditioner when outside temperatures are moderate.

* Hang clothes on the clothesline instead of using the dryer. This saves energy, which will put money in your pocket and the fragrance of clothes dried outdoors is fantastic.

* Scrap old refrigerators, stoves, washers and dryers and replace them with new energy saving models.

* Wash clothes in cold water.

* Do dishes by hand and avoid using the dishwasher whenever possible. Dishes can be handwashed once a day with about 3 gallons of water. If you do this 7 times a week, that is a total of 21 gallons of water, compared to approximately 15 gallons every time you use your dishwasher. Therefore if you use your dishwasher every other day, you would use 52.5 gallons of water per week to wash dishes. That is a huge difference. To calculate your water useage, click Here!

* The next time you buy a car, purchase one that is fuel efficient.

* Walk, ride a bike, take public transport or carpool.

I could go on and on, but you get the idea. The polar bear isn't the only species that is in danger of extinction because of global warming. Make everyday Earth Day and help keep our planet safe.

12 comments:

  1. Such wonderful ideas my friend, bless you.

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  2. Climate has always changed over time and while I am do minimizing the effects of human activity on earth, change will happen inspite of us. You have made a good list to follow. When I visit third world countries I see that many people do not have the inclination or resources to care about the environment. It is a very complex problem, especially when one considers very populated regions like India and China.

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  3. Hi Mary, I am so with you on this. They had some pictures out taken years ago and comparing them now. The amount of ice that has melted is staggering. One thing you mentioned was not using the dishwasher, the new ones actually use less water then washing by hand. They also have the benefit of killing germs with their high temps. I think all the record breaking temps both high and low are proof that something is afoot.
    Thank you for sharing.

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  4. With just the two of us, doing dishes by hand would be a waste...filling the sink every time we dirty dishes...we put them in the dishwasher and it's only run about 1 time a week, instead of several sink loads and rinsing by hand.

    Happy Earth day. I have a few Earth Day photos that are 'out of THIS world' AND I made a slideshow below that entry of Bud's birthday surprise.

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  5. Hi, those are some good ideas to do. I haven't had a dishwasher for a couple of years now,and I try to dry my clothes outside in nice weather. There's lots people can do, but we all need to work together.

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  6. Great post...and good ideas... I love the first picture of the earth in hands.

    Hope all is well my friend.

    love, Jess

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  7. All good tips. I ran the dishwasher yesterday for the first time since Honey Bear left on the 13th. I thought that was very good. I often use the same plate for more than one meal if it isn't dirty. Glasses I rinse and use again. Now people will think I'm a dirty homemaker. I never run the dishwasher unless it is full. And I never dry clothes more than 20 minutes before hanging them to finish drying except for the small clothes, sheets and towels.
    Have a great evening,
    Mama Bear

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  8. Happy Earth Day, dear Mary:-) A wonderful post regarding what the climate changes are doing to the Arctic...as you say, it certainly would be very sad if future generations only saw polar bears as "extinct" animals!! I've never owned a dishwasher so I'm already washing all my dishes by hand! lol There is just so many things we can all do to conserve energy...let's all get together on this and DO it!! xoxo

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  9. These are some good ideas Mary, I would love to use solar power instead of electricity but sadly here in NZ it's so expensive to install. I don't own a dryer tho but I don't need one, I find using a clothes line under my carport does the trick.

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  10. Hi Mary!

    One thing I would love to do is to hang my laundry outdoors, but we are not allowed clotheslines here! As if anyone would even see mine in the backyard, since I have an inside unit...there are 4 in this cluster and mine is one of the inside ones. Everyone needs to start recycling or just anything...a little from everyone would add up in the end! Great tips you posted!!!

    ((( HUGS )))

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  11. Thanks for the list Mary, there are a few I still have to enforce around here.

    Love the polar bear picture!

    God bless.

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  12. Great post...we were given dominion over this earth...we haven't done a very good job taking care of it. :(

    Most of your list I could not do..but one I have been doing for almost a year. There is no dishwasher in our camper...so I have that one down pat. Also our hot water heater hold enough hot water for about a 5 minute shower..that makes us turn the water off when we can. I can't even imagine how much water we are saving! :)

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