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Experience 60 seconds of how it feels to live with autism.

Sensory sensitivity is just one battle someone with autism may face every day.

Experience 60 seconds of how it feels to live with autism.

Certain things can drive me up a wall.

Like the drip, drip, drip of a leaky faucet.


Make it stop already! GIFs via the National Autistic Society/YouTube.

Or deafening, nonstop police sirens outside my window that just. won't. quit.

Nope, nope, nope.

That's why a video made by the U.K.-based National Autistic Society really struck a chord with me.

For the first time, I was able to get a glimpse into the world as it's experienced by many who have autism or autism spectrum disorder (ASD) — a developmental condition that can hinder a person's social, emotional, or communication skills.

A lot of these folks experience sensory sensitivity, which makes it hard to process sensory information like sounds, sights, or tastes.

For someone who has ASD, a sound (like those obnoxious police sirens I mentioned earlier) can be magnified and distorted. Or a fabric used for everyday clothing might feel very uncomfortable to the touch.

To people without sensory sensitivity, those police sirens may just be annoying. But for someone with autism, hearing them could be downright painful.

Autism is more than just sensory sensitivity, though.

In case you don't know too much about ASD, here are some basic facts:

  • You can't "see" it. "There's often nothing about how people with [ASD] look that sets them apart from other people," according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • It's more common than you might think. The CDC estimates that about 1 in 68 children have been identified with autism.
  • ASD isn't a one-size-fits-all label. "Every person with autism is different," according to a video by the National Autistic Society. "That's what makes it so difficult to understand."
  • And the verdict's still out on precisely what causes autism. No one knows for sure, but research has led doctors to believe there are likely multiple factors — environmental, biological, and genetic — that can increase the chances of a person having ASD. (And, just FYI, getting vaccines isn't one of them.)

Watching a one-minute video on sensory sensitivity certainly doesn't mean I know what having autism feels like...

...especially because having ASD can mean many different things to different people.

But watching the PSA below can really spark empathy for those who experience the world a bit differently than many of us.

Check out the video by the National Autistic Society below:

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Amazon

Shopping sustainably is increasingly important given the severity of the climate crisis, but sometimes it's hard to know where to turn. Thankfully, Amazon is making it a little easier to browse thousands of products that have one or more of 19 sustainability certifications that help preserve the natural world.

The online retailer recently announced Climate Pledge Friendly, a program to make it easier for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products. To determine the sustainability of a product, the program partnered with third-party certifications, including governmental agencies, nonprofits, and independent labs.

With a selection of items spanning grocery, household, fashion, beauty, and personal electronics, you'll be able to shop more sustainably not just for the holiday season, but throughout the year for your essentials, as well.

You can browse all of the Climate Pledge Friendly products here, labeled with an icon and which certification(s) they meet. To get you on your way to shopping more sustainably, we've rounded up eight of our favorite Climate Pledge Friendly-products that will make great gifts all year long.

Amazon

Jack Wolfskin Women's North York Coat

Give the gift of warmth and style with this coat, available in a variety of colors. Sustainability is built into all Jack Wolfskin products and each item comes with a code that lets you trace back to its origins and understand how it was made.

Bluesign: Bluesign products are responsibly manufactured by using safer chemicals and fewer resources, including less energy, in production.


Amazon

Amazon All-new Echo Dot (4th Gen)

For the tech-obsessed. This Alexa smart speaker, which comes in a sleek, compact design, lets you voice control your entertainment and your smart home as well as connect with others.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.


Amazon

Burt's Bees Family Jammies Matching Holiday Organic Cotton Pajamas

Get into the holiday spirit with these fun matching PJs for the whole family. Perfect for pictures that even Fido can get in on.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

Naturistick 5-Pack Lip Balm Gift Set

With 100% natural ingredients that are gentle on ultra-sensitive lips, this gift is a great gift for the whole family.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.


Amazon

Arus Women's GOTS Certified Organic Cotton Hooded Full Length Turkish Bathrobe

For those who love to lounge around, this full-length organic cotton bathrobe is the way to go. Available in five different colors, it has comfortable cuffed sleeves, a hood, pockets, and adjustable belt.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

L'Occitane Extra-Gentle Vegetable Based Soap

This luxe soap, made with moisturizing shea butter and scented with verbena, is perfect for the self-care obsessed.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.

Amazon

Goodthreads Men's Sweater-Knit Fleece Long-Sleeve Bomber

For the fashionable men in your life, this fashion-forward knit bomber is an excellent choice. The sweater material keeps it cozy and warm, while the bomber jacket-cut, zip front, and rib-trim neck make it look elevated.

Recycled Claim Standard 100: Products with this certification use materials made from at least 95% recycled content.

Amazon

All-new Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote

Make it even easier to access your favorite movies and shows this holiday season. The new Fire TV Stick lets you use your voice to search across apps. Plus it controls the power and volume on your TV, so you'll never need to leave the couch! Except for snacks.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.

Images via Canva and Unsplash

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

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via Budweiser

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We can't forget the "Wassup?!" ad that premiered in December 1999, spawning the most obnoxious catchphrase of the new millennium.

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