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By Kira and Vivian, Denver Zoo Teen Volunteers
Project Polar Bear (PPB) is a competition organized by Polar Bears International (PBI) that’s designed to encourage kids and teens to create community projects which help reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Denver Zoo has partnered with Polar Bears International for the past several years, and this year, selected two members from its Teen Volunteer Program to participate in PBI’s competition.
This year, PPB teens, Kira and Vivian, are building a model polar bear made of hundreds of used plastic bags, donated by Denver Zoo volunteers. The model, fondly named Grimly Humphrey, will help raise awareness of the impact of plastic bags on the environment. They have been working on the model since late June, and hope to have it finished by the end of the summer.
For every five plastic bags produced, on average, one kilogram of carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere. Furthermore, worldwide plastic production is increasing by three percent each year. The polar bear model aims to raise awareness of this, and educate others on how they can help polar bears in their everyday lives.
Creating the plastic bag polar bear is only the beginning. Kira and Vivian hope to further their efforts by speaking to Zoo guests about the project and Denver Zoo’s efforts in polar bear conservation.