Polar Bear Day puts the focus on conservation

On Tuesday, March 5th, Trinity Environmental Action Club (TEAC) continued its annual Polar Bear Day tradition, which is a hybrid of two important events: National Sweater Day and International Polar Bear Day. Both of these initiatives capture the same spirit of energy conservation in order to combat human-influenced causes of climate change.

Students gave a presentation during morning chapel to help explain the effects of climate change on polar bear habitats and how personal habits tied to energy conservation play a role in their survival as a species. The thermostats around the School were turned down a few degrees to conserve energy and it was a non-uniform day so Senior School students could layer up with warm sweaters, scarves and tuques. TEAC’s presentation emphasized the connection between fossil fuels, the greenhouse effect, the melting of ice caps and endangered arctic animal habitats. The students presented a skit featuring our school mascot, Trina the Bear, and house representatives competed in a quiz challenge based on facts about energy conservation and polar bears.

Quoting from the speech by TEAC co-leader Megan Bernier, “We see trash on the ground and many of us walk right by without a second thought. We are aware that certain companies completely disregard our planet to make substantial profits, yet we do not stop purchasing their products. How many of you have realized something when it was too late to change? I’m sure that all of us have had regrets at some point in our lives, so let’s make sure that we don’t make the same mistake with our planet. The ozone layer is thinning, ocean temperatures are rising and time is ticking. Small actions lead to big ideas and big ideas lead to great change. So, whenever you doubt the importance of what you’re doing for the well-being of this planet, remember that making a difference, big or small, makes a difference either way.”

Videos about polar bears were shown in Cirne Commons during the morning break and various posters were put up around the School with facts learned during the chapel presentation. In addition to lowering heat around in the classroom areas of the School, students and staff were encouraged to extend these energy conservation tips to their living spaces and make a personal pledge to stick to these good habits. TEAC’s focus for the remainder of the year will be on energy reduction and other conservation measures so we continue working towards lowering our carbon footprint as a school community.

I would like to thank our TEAC leaders, Megan Bernier, Tristan Jin, Roselle Torres and Nicole Wang, along with TEAC members, for their hard work in preparing for Polar Bear Day.

- By Dr. Vincenza Pontieri, TEAC faculty advisor