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Unilever and the United Nations

What makes the world go 'round?

You were going to say love, right? Or maybe money? Oil! But not the stuff from underground...

We're talking palm oil.


Yep, palm oil is a major world commodity. It makes our donuts delish, our cookies crunchy, our ice cream mouthwatering, our makeup smooth, our lipstick luscious, our shampoo foamy, etc., etc.

Lots of rural Indonesians benefit from the palm oil economy, which provides income and has led to good things we all want like schools, roads, and hospitals.

In 2007, two 11-year-old Girl Scouts, Madison Vorva and Rhiannon Tomtishen discovered that Girl Scout cookies contain palm oil. They were horrified.

Why?

Well, since we ALL enjoy the fruits of the oil palm, here's what they want us to know:

  • Palm oil is used in about half of all our packaged food and body care products.
  • Production of palm oil has skyrocketed since the 1980s (although people have been using this oil for centuries).
  • There's a downside, and it's big. PristineIndonesian rainforest has disappeared at really alarming rates. In fact, a 2007 United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report said that most of the country's forest might be destroyed by 2022. (The palm oil industry will only grow larger — plantations are starting up in Africa.)

  • As the forest goes, so goes the home of indigenous peoples who rely on the forest for their living, as well as a remarkable diversity of plants and wild animals, including rhinos, elephants, tigers, and orangutans. There are also reports of human rights abuses when companies have cleared land for plantations without proper consultation with the indigenous people who live there. And you can bet they didn't ask the orangutans either.

I bet David Attenborough would have a few things to say about that.

Really dismayed by what they learned about the human and wildlife costs of palm oil, Madison and Rhiannon decided to take action.

The girls launched a number of campaigns, including teaming up with the Rainforest Action Network. After several years, they've succeeded in persuading the bakers of Girl Scout cookies to change their source of palm oil to more sustainable producers.

Krispy Kreme and Dunkin' Donuts have followed suit.

Way to go, Madison and Rhiannon!

Whoa! Before you celebrate with another bite of that cookie: There are a lot of questions about what "sustainable" palm oil really means.

It's most def a work in progress. We have to keep up the pressure on companies to be responsible producers because they aren't exactly leading the way without some noise-making and voting with dollars from our part.

Want to learn more? These guys explain all about palm oil (with some orangutan assistance).

Education

Teacher of the year explains why he's leaving district in unforgettable 3-minute speech

"I'm leaving in hopes that I can regain the ability to do the job that I love."

Lee Allen

For all of our disagreements in modern American life, there are at least a few things most of us can agree on. One of those is the need for reform in public education. We don't all agree on the solutions but many of the challenges are undeniable: retaining great teachers, reducing classroom size and updating the focus of student curriculums to reflect the ever-changing needs of a globalized workforce.

And while parents, politicians and activists debate those remedies, one voice is all-too-often ignored: that of teachers themselves.

This is why a short video testimony from a teacher in the Atlanta suburb of Gwinnett County went viral recently. After all, it's hard to deny the points made by someone who was just named teacher of the year and used the occasion to announce why he will be leaving the very school district that just honored him with that distinction.

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Joy

Tea time: how this boutique blends cultures from around the world

Ethically sourced, modern clothes for kids that embrace adventure, inspire connections and global thinking.

The Tea Collection combines philanthropic efforts with a deep rooted sense of multiculturalism into each of their designs so that kids can grow up with global sensibilities. They make clothes built to last with practicality and adventure in mind. But why "Tea"?

Let's spill it. Tea is a drink shared around the world with people from all different cultures. It is a common thread that weaves the world together. The Tea Collection was born from a love of travel and a love of sharing tea with different people in different places. Inspired by patterns from around the world, these clothes help children develop a familiarity with global communities.

Tea sources their materials ethically and ensures that each of their partners abide to strict codes of conduct. They have a zero-tolerance policy for anything "even slightly questionable" and make sure that they regularly visit their manufacturing partners to ensure that they're supporting positive working conditions.

Since 2003, The Tea Collection has partnered with the Global Fund for Children and has invested in different grassroots organizations that create community empowered programs to uplift kids in need. They donate 10% of their proceeds and have already contributed over $500,000 to different organizations such as: The Homeless Prenatal Program (San Francisco, CA, USA), Door of Faith Orphanage (Baja California, Mexico), Little Sisters Fund (Nepal) and others in Peru, Sri Lanka, India, Italy and Haiti.

But the best part about the Tea Collection? They're also an official member of the Kidizen Rewear Collective, which believes that clothes should stretch far beyond one child's use. They have their own external site for their preloved clothes that makes rewearing affordable. Families can trade in gently used Tea clothes and receive discounts for future products. Shopping the site helps keep clothes out of land fills and reduces the environmental impact of the fashion industry.

By creating heirloom style clothing made to last families can buy, sell, and trade clothes that can be reworn again and again. Because "new to you" doesn't always have to mean never been worn. And let's be honest, we all know how fast kids grow! Shopping preloved clothes is a great way to keep styles fresh without harming the environment or feeling guilty about not getting the most out of certain styles.

But don't just take our word for it! Head over to the Tea Collection and see for yourself!

Upworthy has earned revenue through a partnership and/or may earn a portion of sales revenue from purchases made through links on our site.

Hold on, Frankie! Mama's coming!

How do you explain motherhood in a nutshell? Thanks to Cait Oakley, who stopped a preying bald eagle from capturing her pet goose as she breastfed her daughter, we have it summed up in one gloriously hilarious TikTok.

The now viral video shows the family’s pet goose, Frankie, frantically squawking as it gets dragged off the porch by a bald eagle—likely another mom taking care of her own kiddos.

Wearing nothing but her husband’s boxers while holding on to her newborn, Willow, Oakley dashes out of the house and successfully comes to Frankie's rescue while yelling “hey, hey hey!”

The video’s caption revealed that the Oakleys had already lost three chickens due to hungry birds of prey, so nothing was going to stop “Mama bear” from protecting “sweet Frankie.” Not even a breastfeeding session.

Oakley told TODAY Parents, “It was just a split second reaction ...There was nowhere to put Willow down at that point.” Sometimes being a mom means feeding your child and saving your pet all at the same time.

As for how she feels about running around topless in her underwear on camera, Oakley declared, “I could have been naked and I’m like, ‘whatever, I’m feeding my baby.’”

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