Credit: Pixabay

Column: Make it a green Christmas

Instead of purchasing a cuddly stuffie this year, put your money towards helping the real thing.

With millions of dollars spent on useless crap every holiday season, maybe it’s time to support something a little more sustainable than mass consumerism.

Recently, a video went viral of an emaciated polar bear on Baffin Island, shot by photographer Paul Nicklen with his conservation group Sea Legacy.

Polar bears are just one of the many species impacted by the earth’s warming temperatures.

According to National Geographic, a report released in 2002 predicted climate change could eventually lead to the endangerment or extinction of this well-known species.

Critics of the video, as written in a National Post article, say the particular bear shown may have been injured, and the bear population on Baffin Island is doing well. They also point out that finding emaciated polar bears is not a new occurrence.

But, they fail to refute the claim that polar bears are being impacted by climate change.

Polar bears depend on sea ice to search for food, and with longer melts in the summer and less refreezing in the winter, the bears who depend on the ice search elsewhere, according to National Geographic.

Bears have been found eating snow geese eggs and saving leftover meals for later, according to National Geographic.

These behaviour changes are clear signs the bears are attempting to adapt to their surrounding environments.

Melting sea ice continues to be a threat to the real-life bears we enamor on shelves as cute, cuddly, stuffed versions as Christmas time approaches.

In 2014, Canadians spent a whopping $416 million on toys, games and hobby supplies for Christmas, according to Statistics Canada.

If $416 million went to efforts actually supporting the wildlife our stuffies symbolize, think of how much better off the real animals would be.

So for this holiday, a better gift idea could be directed to the conservation efforts of organizations like Sea Legacy.

Wouldn’t you like for your children to grow up in a world where polar bears and other vulnerable species still exist?

Maybe instead of purchasing a cuddly stuffie this year, put your money towards helping the real thing.

To find out more about Sea Legacy and its conservation efforts, visit

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