Things like turning off lights when you leave the room, or turning off the water while brushing your teeth are second nature in our home. When I was growing up, our (single) TV was left on all day long. But I can't imagine that happening now. One thing I am not so good at is remembering to turn off the heat/air conditioning when I decide to open windows to air out the house. Hubs always corrects me on that pretty quickly, and I'm working on it! Conserving energy is important to us so we try to be very aware and make improvements where we can.
On a larger scale, we're lucky to live in a city with great recycling and organics composting programs, and we are really careful to make sure that everything goes into its proper disposal bin. Little Boo is very aware and always asks for direction if he isn't sure. It's critical to get kids involved early, so that they understand the issues and develop positive habits from a young age. Be sure to explain why recycling and composting and conserving energy are important, not just that it must be done.
We are also very careful with what we do with items we no longer want or need, but that may be of use to someone else. There's a Salvation Army Thrift Shop drop-off just down the road from us, or we collect and call the Diabetic Association's Clothesline program so that gently used clothes, books, toys, and household items can find a new life in a new home. This keeps items out of landfills and removes the demand for the production of new items.
While we’re working on making a difference at home, it’s great to see companies getting in on the action, too, providing financial support and using their brand to build awareness around issues. Last year, the World Wildlife Fund and Coca-Cola joined on the Arctic Home program to generate more than $2 million and raise awareness for the conservation of the polar bear and its best hope for survival, a resilient patch of sea ice known as the Last Ice Area. The polar bear is a national symbol of pride for Canadians (61% of us to be exact!) and we know kids big and small have a soft spot for this iconic animal. This Arctic species is fundamental to the Northern ecosystem, which is warming rapidly due to climate change. How can we help? Coca-Cola Canada is building on the success and inspiration of last year’s campaign by offering Canadians new and exciting ways to show their polar bear pride and pledge their support.
Families can get involved and spread the word by:
- Pledging support – make a simple pledge to support a future for polar bears, take action on climate change, or donate to WWF at livepositively.ca/ArcticHome – then share it on Twitter with the hash tag #everyactionmatters to spread the word. And if you plan to make a Coca-Cola purchase, choose a specially marked 12-pack and Coca-Cola will donate 5 per cent of proceeds to WWF polar bear conservation efforts, up to $235,000.
- Fact sharing – did you know that 60 per cent of the world’s polar bears live in Canada? And the Last Ice Area located in the high North could cover close to 1.4 million square kilometres – or twice the size of Manitoba? These are just some of the interesting facts that may pique your family’s interest and get the conversation about polar bears and their habitat started. Find out more great stats and facts on the Arctic Home website.