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Heroes

Cigarette butts are gross and smelly, and once they're on the street, they don't go away. Until now.

We sent a team of volunteers to Union Square to see how many cigarette butts they could pick up in an hour. Here's what they found.

A new campaign from DoSomething.org and truth is seeking to put an end to a major smoking-related problem, without shaming smokers.

To do this, they're raising awareness about where cigarette butts do (and don't) end up when smokers are done smoking them.


FACT: Cigarette butts are the most frequently littered item.

Eww. Gross.

The new campaign is called, "Get the Filter Out" and it has a noble goal: to encourage people to pick up littered cigarette butts in their communities.

FACT: 1.69 billion pounds of cigarette butts end up as toxic trash every year.

That's kind of a lot. Too big to even wrap your head around.

FACT: Cigarette butts are NOT biodegradable.

When you throw your cigarette butt on the ground, it doesn't biodegrade and disappear. It just sits there. And sits there. And leaches harmful toxins into the ground. And then sits there some more. It never goes away.

Not unless someone picks it up and disposes of it properly.

To understand the scope of this problem, Upworthy brought a group of volunteers to Union Square in NYC.

The goal? To see how many cigarette butts we could pick up in an hour.

The result was a bit jarring. Literally.

They filled a huge jar with cigarette butts.

What's so cool about this campaign is that the goal is not to shame people out of smoking. There are plenty of other campaigns doing that. The "Get The Filter Out" campaign is all about raising awareness about the massive environmental problem of cigarette butts collecting on the ground as litter.

According to truth, 23% of teens smoked in 2000. As of 2014, only 8% of teens smoke. That's a huge decline in teenage smokers, but (perhaps more importantly for the environment) it's also a lot fewer cigarette butts being tossed out into the street.

So, really, I dare you.

Grab some gloves (seriously, make sure you have gloves) and a plastic resealable bag, and spend 10 minutes in your neighborhood collecting littered butts. The environment will thank you.

Check out what happened when we went to Union Square below:

Joy

Delivery driver's reaction to snacks left for him shows how a little kindness goes a long way

'Seeing a grown man get so excited about Capri Sun is extra wholesome.'

"Dee" the delivery guy stoked to get some Doritos.

Sometimes the smallest gesture can change someone’s day for the better, especially when that act of kindness lets them know their work is appreciated. Over the last few years, delivery drivers have done a fantastic job keeping people healthy during the pandemic, so Toni Hillison Barnett told News 11 that she and her husband started a tradition of leaving snacks for their drivers on the front porch.

The Barnetts, who live in Louisville, Kentucky, can see the drivers' reactions by recording them on their doorbell cameras. “I live for reactions like this to our snack cart! Thx to all of the delivery drivers out there! We appreciate you!” Toni wrote on an Instagram post.

Recently, one of the Barnetts’ delivery guys, a joyous fellow that we believe is known as Dee, went viral on TikTok because of his positive reaction to receiving some snacks during his deliveries. The snacks are tasty, no doubt. But it’s also wonderful to feel appreciated. After Toni posted the video, it received more than 100,000 views.

“Oh my God, you guys are the best, I gotta take a snapshot of this,” Dee can be heard saying in the video. “Oh, Capri Suns are my favorite, Yes!”

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Photo by Pixabay/Pexels

Train tracks leading into Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp.

Kanye West (who has legally changed his name to Ye) has been making headlines—again—not only for his bizarre public behavior, but for blatantly antisemitic remarks he made in recent interviews.

There's no question that Ye's comments praising Hitler and Nazis and denying that 6 million Jews were killed in the Holocaust are hurtful and dangerous. There's no question that bad actors are using Ye's antisemitic comments to push their white nationalist agenda. The question is whether Ye fans would allow their admiration of his musical talents—or whatever else they like about him—to overshadow the fact that he is now regularly spewing pro-Nazi rhetoric to millions of people.

In at least one corner of the internet, fans are responding in what may be the most effective and meaningful way possible—by countering Ye's commentary with a deluge of Holocaust education and remembrance.

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Photo by Roméo A. on Unsplash

Cat hilariously rats out owner in front of the landlord.

Maybe it's a right of passage into adulthood or maybe some landlords discriminate against pets because they can't tell people kids are forbidden in their residence. Either way, just about everyone has lived in a rental home that didn't allow pets. Most people just abide by the rules and vow to get a pet when they find a new home.

Some people, on the other hand, get creative. I once came across a post on social media where someone claimed their pit bull puppy was actually a silver Labrador. But one woman on TikTok was harboring a secret cat in her rental that had a no pets policy, and either her cat was unaware or he was aware and was simply being a jerk.

My money is on the latter since cats are known to be jerks for no reason. I mean, have you ever left something on the counter for a few minutes? They make it their mission to knock it on the floor. So I fully believe this fluffy little meow box wanted to make his presence known in an effort to rat out his owner.

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Pop Culture

'Princess Bride' star Mandy Patinkin shared a moving detail about the film with a grieving woman

Two souls connecting over the loss of their fathers. (Phew, grab a tissue for this one, folks.)

via Mandy Patinkin / TikTok

This story originally appeared on 08.25.21


There was an emotional exchange on TikTok between two people who lost their fathers to cancer. One was actor Mandy Patinkin, the other was TikTok user Amanda Webb.

Patinkin currently stars on "The Good Fight" but one of his most famous roles is Inigo Montoya in the 1987 classic "The Princess Bride." In the film, Montoya is a swordsman who is obsessed with confronting a six-fingered man who killed his father.

Webb recently lost her father Dan to mantle cell lymphoma. She had heard a rumor that Patinkin used his father's death from cancer as motivation in a pivotal scene where he confronts the six-fingered Count Rugen (Christopher Guest) in a duel.

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