Polar Society

If you love Polar Bears, you may want to check out the Polar Society.

Polar Society is an apparel company founded by Geovana Flores and Joanne Wong. When they first started, in 2008, the two conducted research and discovered that the polar bear was listed under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA) specifically because of the projected effects of climate change on their habitat. As you may recall in our earlier articles, there is significant precedent that climate change is real and environmental stewardship is a necessity.

“There needs to be a reduction of gas emissions in order to prevent the declines in polar bear population.”

—Geovana Flores & Joanne Wong of the Polar Society

Polar Society’s apparel brand is “not only fashion forward[,] but provides a means to improve the current natural habitat for polar bears and their preservation.” With every purchase, Polar Society donates a part of their profit or proceeds to organizations that “support polar bear conversation and habitat preservation.” Clearly, both Geovana Flores and Joanne Wong are inspired about how to be activists in a consumer-based economy. They are inspired, simply, by both preservation of the polar bears as climate change worsens and are concerned about the future generation.

Success for the duo is a work in progress. Each time the company is able to donate part of their profits to Polar Bears International is something they consider a success. In January 2019, the company donated $300 to the cause! This is fantastic! Further, the love and positive optimism they have received from customers or with their brand ambassadors is what helps them keep their focus, according to the owners.

Parting Thoughts

When asked what are a few things that everyone should know, they said… eat less meat, use energy efficient light bulbs, turn off electric devices when you’re not using them, walk, ride bicycles or take public transportation whenever possible. Not only are there immense benefits to you health, but these simple ideas have benefits psychologically too! So, be sure to get out there and save the world with one small decision at a time!

If you want to learn more, check out their website or follow them on Instagram at @polarsociety!

Hang In There, Bats!

Having trouble sleeping? 

So do your friends, bats! Bats are a vital group to the ecology of mammals, representing 20% of their diversity with over 1200 species

Fruit-eating bats pollinate and disperse seeds for more than 50% of the rainforest, ensuring its vitality. Insect-eating bats control most of the agriculture pests in the United States and those pesky mosquitoes. They have seriously helped humans deal with Nipah virus, SARS, Ebola, malaria and other viruses

Some studies show that bats eat more than 70% of their weight in insects every night!

What does that even mean? According to Bat Conservation International, this would be about 1000 mosquitos in an hour. They don’t only eat mosquitoes either. Some bats even eat stinkbugs on macadamia nut farms, which are a major agricultural pest. In short, bats save lives. 

Texas loves them!

Braken Cave is known to have the largest bat roost in the world, with over 20 million. But, bats are suffering to stay alive elsewhere because of a fungal disease called White Nose Syndrome, wiping out populations in the U.S. and Canda. This fungus originating from Europe resides in more than half of the U.S. and five Canadian provinces. Some scientists even predict regional extinction of bat species from this fungus. The reason it is called White Nose Syndrome is that a white fungal growth becomes apparent on the bat’s muzzle and wings once infected. 

“The mortality is unprecedented in my experience, and I’ve been working with bats for 40 years.”

Thomas Kunz, Biology Professor and Director of Boston University’s Center for Ecology and Conservation Biology 

Since 2000 the leading causes of bat population decline has been from White Nose Syndrome and collisions with wind turbines. So how are we impacting their population? Climate change. Although it is unknown why White Nose Syndrome is spreading and killing more bats , we do know that fungus only grows at cold temperatures. In Albany, NY, people noticed that bats were flying during frigid days rather than hibernating in their caves and being nocturnal. As much as 97% of bat populations have thinned in the North East including New York, Connecticut, Maine, and Vermont. With climate change, weather patterns are becoming more extreme (like the polar vortex sending down Arctic winds to northern, mid-America). With colder weather, bats are likely to come out of hibernation early or offset their nocturnal sleeping patterns. Not only is this disruptive but it severely hurts their immune systems, potentially causing their inability to ward off the infections from White Nose Syndrome as effectively as they could.  

Bats help us fight infections, so let’s help them fight off infections too!